Intern View: AASA's Advocacy Mindset

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Intern View: AASA's Advocacy Mindset

Intern View: AASA's Advocacy Mindset

Over the course of my internship, I have alternated between working exclusively with School Administrator and digital content. Recently I had the opportunity to become more acquainted with the bigger picture of AASA, as I was able to have one-on-one conversations with several AASA staff members and attend a full staff meeting. 

There were a few traits that stuck out in all of those conversations. First off, in describing their work, it became apparent that each individual was not only capable but willing to fulfill a variety of different roles, like James Minichello, whose duties include responsibilities like writing press releases, but also took it upon himself to sharpen his photography skills in order to increase coverage. 

Secondly, many members of the staff do not have a background in education. This came as a shock to me. Not only did it subvert my expectation, but with the wealth of knowledge everyone exhibits it’s hard to believe.

 Third, advocacy is the blood that pumps through every action. It’s one thing to witness the focus on advocacy when writing social media posts, editing the website, or evaluating manuscripts for School Administrator. Those things are the face we show others. It’s the appearance we choose to present. 

It’s another thing to see that mindset driving the conversation in staff meetings or even the day-to-day duties of each individual. This intentionality is not just the appearance of AASA but it is clearly the substance as well.

In the past weeks I was also given the task to look through archived School Administrator articles to add to the publications portion of our equity resources. This task once again showed me the depth of AASA’s commitment. While the past year has forced many organizations to participate in difficult conversations on equity for the first time, it is clear that AASA has been engaged in searching for equitable solutions and gameplans for years, and they are only continuing to move forward.

These experiences have made me consider my future in a different light. From a distance the harmony of this team is obvious, but at a closer look the muscle holding this organism together is a genuine care for the members of AASA and a hope for the future of public education. In my future career I hope to be a part of an organization I truly believe in. Knowing what the job counts for makes the work even more worthwhile and the direction of every task crystal clear.