The International Literacy Association (http://www.reading.org/) is a community of practitioners dedicated to promote literacy through research, assessment and evaluation, professional development, education and publication. With more than 300,000 members worldwide and over sixty years of experience, this addition to my community of practice is invaluable. There are membership opportunities through this organization as well as in my state and county in Maryland (http://www.somirac.org/). Although I didn’t see any professional opportunities, there are more than 1,000 councils and associations devoted to readings and more than 40 special interests groups targeting language, children and adult reading to name a few. Under resources are opportunities to broaden professional development for teacher preparation, individual development and opportunities to apply for grants and awards.
The Office of Early Learning, which falls under the guidance of the U.S. Department of Education (www.ed.gov) is another practice specifically dedicated in providing national public policy and standards for the social and cognitive outcomes of children from ages zero to eight. As in my earlier blog for HHS, there were a few openings for associate research and research scientists and analysts which required having a master’s degree or above with clinical and educational experience in behavioral or targeted social sciences.
Lastly, the Prince Georges County Board of Education (http://www1.pgcps.org/board/) is a local community of practice that specifically addresses the educational requirements, policies and standards for my county. Local support lends credibility and opportunities to push directives on a state level. Here there were two specific jobs that interest me. Both required having a master’s degree only with a minimum of ten years experience with current teacher certifications. The first was a Mentor Teacher. The responsibilities included providing coaching, leadership and collaboration in the facilitation of training educators/teachers. Five years of the experience must be teaching within Prince Georges County. The second position, Peer Assistance Review Program Liaison, works closely with the Peer Advisory Review Board on all avenues pertaining to teacher framework, school organization, curriculum, technology and instruction. This position only requires a bachelor’s degree and advanced professional certification. As someone with no experience in education, I believe this would be a perfect opportunity for growth and development.