The Montgomery Institute

The Montgomery Institute offerings for 2016-2017:

Nov 17-20 Organize to Lead: Race Diversity and Justice
January 19-22 Organize to Lead: Strong Worksite Leadership
February 23-26 Organize to Lead – Partners, Coalitions and Communities
March 23-26 Organize to Lead:  Engagement along the Career Continuum
May 18-21 Organize to Lead: Professional Practice Leaders
June Ambassadors for Institute

Additional updates will be noted in the Center for Organizing training calendar

Click here for a brief history of MCEA and the collabortive work we’ve done alongside MCPS.


Organize to Lead: Strong Worksite Leadership

January 19-22

Educators must have a voice in the issues that matter most for students and for great teaching and learning.  This begins with a firm belief that those closest to the work must have meaningful participation in decisions affecting their work. ESSA changes provide many more opportunities to use teacher leaders in shaping policy and regulations impacting teaching and learning.  The work requires a broader definition of leadership and must include diverse representation.  Strong locals are created by engaging the membership in a strong worksite development strategy.  Association leaders, no matter how strong they are, cannot single-handedly win the types of change that matter most to our members and potential members.  Nor can individual leaders or staff reach members, potential members and activist needed to move the change.  When structures are intentionally built to support organizational goals that grow a broad, diverse leadership, then locals create a stronger, more engaged membership.

Learn how one union has expanded, distributed and supported leadership opportunities in the worksite. Teams will learn how to build the credibility and value of union membership through the intentional identification and development of leaders and their engagement in a variety of programs and structures.  We will highlight programs that develop leadership, leadership structures and leadership practices to broadly distribute leadership and engagement among members.

Teams in this training will:

  • Explore leadership definitions, practices and beliefs
  • Learn to intentionally identify, develop and engage leaders to determine the issues that matter most to them
  • Understand structures and processes for engaging the maximum number of people in the work of the union

Organize to Lead – Partners, Coalitions and Communities

February 23-26

Across the United States, we have much work to do to extend the promise of public education to every student. In recent years, attacks on teachers, high-stakes testing and the encroachment of privatization have increased, threatening the ability of schools to play their vital role as pillars of our democracy. We are missing valuable opportunities to prepare the next generation of Americans, particularly low-income students and students of color, for success and leadership.  When we address the systemic economic and social challenges that lead to school failure, we will succeed – but Unions alone cannot achieve this success.

The new federal education legislation, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), sends much of the decision-making power to create mechanisms for student success to the state level and local levels.  School employees and their partners can and should become a vehicle for whole community development. How can our locals affiliates take advantage of this opportunity and have significant impact?  Where do we even begin?  Large wins in this area of school reform will only be realized with strong partnerships, broad coalitions and community engagement.

This training will:

  • Introduce participants to NEA and Affiliate strategic partners who are working with members on strategies at the local and state level that advocate for greater student-centered learning, community investment and engagement, and equitable school environments focused on teaching and learning
  • Present a number of strategies for identifying, growing and engaging partners outside your organization
  • Expand participants’ understanding of leadership and various ways the union can grow leaders
  • Use organizing skills and strategies to develop a plan that engages leaders in policy advocacy that supports student learning and teacher quality
  • Develop a narrative around empowered union leaders that collaborate with critical stakeholders to co-create solutions designed to shape the future of education, improve student learning, enhance professional practice and the quality of professionals

Organize to Lead:  Engagement along the Career Continuum

March 23 – 26

Unions struggle to engage members across the career continuum, especially early educators and teachers new to the teaching profession.  Fifty percent of teachers now leave the profession by their fifth year.  Early educators often don’t engage with their union because they don’t have relationships with union leaders, a sense of belonging with their union, or opportunities to lead early in their career.  All educators, from novice to veteran, want to learn skills they can use in the classroom with their students and skills that will improve their work with colleagues.

How can local affiliates provide a continuum of learning within the teaching profession that leads from pre-service preparation to accomplished practice?  How can local affiliates offer leadership roles that provide teachers with skills to grow as teacher leaders and engage with their union?

This training offers authentic professional learning, technical assistance, and coaching using the MCEA experience as one example of what’s possible when you engage teachers along the career continuum. Learn how unions can lead as advocates focused on professional growth and student learning, and can lead as advocates supporting professionals from entry through late career.

This training with help local teams:

  • Learn strategies and tactics that create opportunities for teachers to grow in their profession, and become union leaders, professional practice leaders and policy leaders
  • Expand their understanding of leadership and various ways in which the union can grow leaders at early points in their career
  • Use organizing skills and strategies to develop a plan that engages early career leaders in policy advocacy that supports student learning and teacher quality

Organize to Lead: Professional Practice Leaders

May 18 – 21

Ensuring student success is union work.  Programs that support educators in their professional practice are attractive to members and potential members.  Learn how affiliates are increasing member engagement and developing organizing plans that tap into member energy and interest in professional issues.  Teams will learn how to identify member leaders, identify their interests and develop structures that allow them to lead professional issue programs, plans and campaigns. Teams will develop skills, explore strategies and build plans to help members have a greater voice in decision making around key issues of the profession.

Affiliates like the Montgomery County Education Association are leading in developing the union as an authentic advocate for improving student learning, supporting members in their profession from entry through late career and leading on social justice issues. Want to learn how to use rank and file members as leaders who develop, facilitate and evaluate professional issue programs?  Want to learn how to grow a corps of professional practice leaders that are also engaged Union Leaders?

This training will help staff:

  • Identify and prioritize professional issues that develop strong value for the union and members
  • Create plans that support the identification, development and engagement of credible leaders who can implement change campaigns

Develop key skills in the area of organizing, activating and developing powerful locals