Two Shenandoah students are helming the university’s newly created Student Virginia Education Association (SVEA) chapter.
“We want to create a community of future educators who can share and learn from each other,” said SVEA Vice President and university studies major Christy Daily Linaburg ’17, who is studying elementary education.
The group held its first informational meeting in late October, and will continue to meet monthly. Members will attend workshops and conferences to build their portfolios and expand their learning beyond the classroom. Workshops will cover topics such as building a resume, dealing with a difficult child and using technology in the classroom.
“Teaching can often feel like an isolated profession,” said Shenandoah’s SVEA Chapter Advisor and Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction Karrin Lukacs, Ph.D. “It’s not unusual during the school day for teachers to see one another only as they pass in the hallway. SVEA allows students to form a network with other pre-service teachers that can support them in their coursework and beyond through state-level conferences, community service projects, and other opportunities like #DegreesNotDebt.”
Members of the Shenandoah SVEA chapter will participate in professional development activities, have access to guest speakers, engage in social networking and have the opportunity to interface with political leaders. For example, on Virginia Education Association Lobby Day, SVEA members visit the state capitol to meet with lawmakers and share their concerns about public education in Virginia.
By joining SVEA, students become members of the Virginia Education Association and the National Education Association, the nation’s largest professional employee organization.
“When Dr. Lukacs asked us if we were interested in starting a chapter of SVEA, we were ecstatic,” said SVEA President and university studies major Tara Lockhart ’17, who is studying elementary education. “This is such a wonderful opportunity for students at Shenandoah, and we are hoping we will gain all types of education students—even graduate students.”
The group also hopes to adopt a school in the Winchester community in order to volunteer for various activities and support the students, teachers and staff.