CTA & You

Tool for Chapter Growth

Tracy Educators Association puts everyone in their PLACE

Tracy Educators Association (TEA) President Jacqui Nott is making sure TEA members know their PLACE. During the Emerging Leaders track at CTA’s Summer Institute in August, she and other chapter leaders learned about PLACE, a series of steps designed to help set member engagement goals. Nott’s team met on a recent Saturday to use PLACE to write their goals.

Programs and Events

To reach all generations and bring in people with different strengths and interests, a variety of monthly events are on the TEA calendar. First up is an evening of playing Bunco (a dice game) in September, followed by a mixer at a local pizza parlor in October, “casino night” in November, a holiday open house in December, bowling in January, a barbecue in April, and participating in the Relay for Life in May.

Nott says members like the learning experiences and getting to know one another. “Many didn’t know what Bunco is,” she says. “And cancer survivor Lisa Mendez — a super woman and so creative — is coordinating the Relay for Life team.”

Leader Identification

The activities and events will give executive board members opportunities to meet and identify new leaders by January.

Alliances

With participation in Relay for Life, TEA members will network with other nonprofit organizations. They hope to work more with Tracy PAL (Police Activities League), which does back-to-school activities for underprivileged kids.

Communication

Everyone communicates differently, so board members must use a variety of ways to communicate with members. They meet one-on-one with members during socials and mixers, engage with members and community on Facebook, and use Twitter and Instagram to share information about trainings and grants.

Nott says she hears positive feedback from members on TEA’s private Facebook group, where she and board members respond to questions, clear up misconceptions, and promote TEA’s successes. TEA also has a public community page on Facebook that serves as “a way to show us off.”

Equity and Parity

TEA plans to strengthen the organizing and grievance committees, and plans for board members to meet at least three times with the Tracy Unified School District superintendent and human resources to provide more of a voice for teachers and meet the district as equals. TEA will also invite school board members to chapter mixers.

“I know there is a need right now for teachers’ voices to be heard,” Nott recently told the Tracy Press. “I am going to do the best I can.”

Nott says she understands why some are not involved in TEA, because she wasn’t for most of her career. What changed her mind? “A principal who came after me,” she says. “It was ugly. My CTA staffer Jamye Merritt was a heroine. People spoke for me when I couldn’t speak.

“My job-related troubles were taken care of because of CTA. I’m here because I’m paying it forward.”

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