Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Students that Inspire Us

Two National Consultant Team members share their experiences with students who have inspired and encouraged them as advisers.

Last year when I began teaching at a new school, I was starting from scratch with FCCLA Officers.  There were two girls that were interested, but hesitant to fill out the application.  After much encouragement, they finally filled it out—one of them becoming the Chapter President.  After being selected for the officer team, these two girls really came out of their shell.  They began seeking out projects for us to participate in and actively working towards increasing membership.  Our first year, we increased our membership from 25-54—all with the motivation and support of an outstanding officer team.

As the year continued, these two girls—my Ashley's—continued to be more involved.  They both applied and interviewed for State Office and when they didn't make it, decided it was great practice for District.  In the spring of 2010, they were both selected to be on the District Officer Team.  I couldn't have been more proud!  Watching the two of them grow and develop as leaders has been one of my proudest moments as an FCCLA Adviser.  Having the opportunity to watch a student go from shy and quiet to speaking eloquently in front of 500 of their peers is amazing.

I have come to realize that there are times that you have to encourage students to take the leap into leadership, and once they do—it is amazing to see the results!
Contributed by Jessica Marlow, National Consultant Team, Oklahoma

Students who inspire me are the ones who always keep me guessing.  The student who most comes to mind as an inspiration is one who stepped up and led an entire chapter event.  She had helped with the event in the past but she took the event, worked extra hard, got outside sponsorship, and made it more popular than ever.  She's the kind of student who is always busy with other activities and athletics but she saw the importance of educating our students about the dangers of unprotected sun exposure.  With her leadership and the help of the chapter, our small school raised over $700 for the Skin Cancer Foundation.  I'll never forget her hard work and determination to educate our students and make the event a success.
Contributed by Allison Kreifels, National Consultant Team, Nebraska

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Taking Small Steps to Make a Big Impact

This week's blog post in contributed by Jessica Marlow a National Consultant Team member from Oklahoma.

As an FCCLA Adviser you hold a very powerful role with your students. You have the opportunity to influence them on a daily basis.  What you chose to do with this influence is completely up to you. If you are an adviser that is enthusiastic about the organization, you will have students and members that follow suit.  Students follow your example.

If you currently have a chapter that is stagnate and needing a little ‘spice,’ take a look in the mirror. Are you an FCCLA Adviser that is contributing to positive changes within your organization?

Work with your officer team to set goals geared toward the changes you would like to see and then create a time line to accomplish those goals. Positive changes could include increasing membership, awareness in the community, or something as small as increasing attendance at meetings. The goals you select need to reflect the positive changes that you want to see.

By selecting a few small goals to achieve, you could see amazing results within your chapter. Start small, changes don’t happen overnight.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Increasing Chapter Membership

The below entry was meant to be posted on October 13, but due to Capitol Leadership activities it is being posted following the conference. This post was contributed by Cathe Felz, National Consultant Team and Chapter Adviser from Montana.

Increasing membership and competing with the wide variety of extra-curricular activities, after school jobs, and social activities is a challenge all advisers have in common. How do you encourage students to get involved, hold their interest, and maintain a quality program which provides opportunities for a wide range of students? There is no right or wrong answer to this question. In small schools the same students are involved in everything from sports to speech and drama, in large schools the number of activities available decrease the number of members who want to join any particular organization. Some kids will not or cannot participate in extracurricular activities because of finances, lack of motivation, or transportation issues.

Two things must happen for membership recruitment to be successful: first students must see membership in any group as a place they could belong and second they must see the benefits of belonging. For example, student athletes may have letter jackets or team shirts that identify them as part of the group and receive recognition from the community for their membership on the team. Not everyone can be a successful athlete but everyone likes to feel that they are part of a group who accepts and appreciates them. Young people will join FCCLA they know what the organization is and how it can benefit them personally. Likewise, parents who see FCCLA as an opportunity for their student to develop a résumé, receive a scholarship, or gain positive recognition will encourage their child to participate.

In some cases the key may be to make FCCLA available during school hours. Students who cannot participate because of transportation issues can participate if the activities are integrated into the classroom.  Once the student has had the opportunity to participate in a class project they may decide being a member of FCCLA is something they would really like to do. Many projects can be completed as class assignments and graded for everyone in the class. Students who are members of FCCLA may be able to refine their class projects for participation at the district, state, or national level. Integrating FCCLA into the classroom will also benefit advisers freeing more of your after school time for your family, hobbies, or to work on extra-curricular FCCLA projects.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Capitol Leadership Day 4 - Final Day

Students and advisers wrapped up Capitol Leadership with some excellent sharing and reflection on the conference. Advisers spent time sharing advocacy activities they could take home, writing new advocacy based lesson plans, and finally enjoying a (all too brief) rejuvenation session to prepare for the trip home. Below are a few pictures of the students in action. Check out this enthusiasm!

If you liked what you read about, but weren't able to be part of 2010 Capitol Leadership Training, add next year's conference to your calendar to start preparing today. Join us October 9-12, 2011!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Capitol Leadership Day 3

Students and advisers walked all over Capitol Hill today in their red jackets talking to everyone from staffers to government officials to people on the Metro about FCCLA and the leadership opportunities it offers.

After the trip to the Hill, students and advisers came back to the hotel to participate in debriefing, think tanks, and follow up to their visits with the officials.

Advisers also had their own sessions following the trips. They spent time networking on topics such as working with alumni, community service ideas, public relations, gaining support from administrators, and new professional learning ideas for national and state meetings.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Capitol Leadership Day 2

Prepping for the trip to Capitol Hill was today's focus at Capitol Leadership Training. Advisers met with ACTE to go over advocacy tools, topics important to Congress right now, and how they can work with their students to share stories and follow up on their visits. In the afternoon advisers and students came together to plan and prepare for Tuesday. Students inspired us all with their stories of how they've become leaders through FCCLA and FACS education.

Even if you're not at Capitol Leadership in Washington, D.C., you can still be part of FCCLA's advocacy efforts. Find out where your Representative or Senator will be campaigning or making town hall stops to check in, say hi, and schedule appointments at their state offices. Have your students share their stories and take the lead for FCCLA, CTE and FACS education.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Capitol Leadership Day 1

Day one of Capitol Leadership is almost over and already we have done a lot together! Youth have been working in teams to develop and share ideas, studying professionalism and enjoying a wonderful etiquette dinner sponsored by The Art Institutes.

Advisers have been working together on new fundraising ideas, grant opportunities, sharing leadership tools and learning about the Student Leadership Challenge. One idea advisers shared was teaching to the heart. The more interested they were in a topic, the better the students did. Not only was this a good example, but it leaves a lasting legacy.

Tomorrow we'll prep for Hill visits, learn about navigating Washington, DC, and participate in a community service project.

Follow us on Twitter by searching @NationalFCCLA and #FCCLADC.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

L is for Leaders

On Sunday FCCLA will begin its Capitol Leadership Training for the first time. This conference which used to be a phase of state officer training has been revamped, updated and is now open to any and all students and advisers who want to learn more about leading through advocacy.

This will be an exciting time for attendees to visit Capitol Hill to meet with legislators and decision makers on education including nutrition and childhood obesity, traffic safety, financial education, bullying, and other issues important in our communities today.

Attendees will also work together to develop leadership skills that can be used in school and beyond. Professionalism, teamwork, community service, networking, and public speaking are just a few of the topics covered during the conference.

Read about what attendees are doing on Twitter by following us at "NationalFCCLA." Check back here for tips from advisers during the week.

In addition to the new conference, FCCLA has also launched the new Advocacy STAR Event to help students better understand, use, and respond to our system of government.