Finding Your Community
By Peter A'Hearn, President
Two years ago, when I became CASE President, we were still in the midst of the COVID pandemic and I was missing the sense of community that science teachers get from being connected to other science teachers. My incoming president’s message was about trying to build, energize, and connect to the statewide community.
If you need a community, or have a community, but also want to connect to a wider network, then CASE is there for you.
It was my hope as president to strengthen the community that is CASE, connect more educators to CASE, and give everyone more opportunities to connect. It wasn’t easy.
We have had successes, but there is plenty more work to be done.
The pandemic was persistent, and the 2021 Conference was virtual, delaying another year the time that we could get together.
Finally in 2022, the state got together for an amazing conference in Palm Springs with 1,400 attending. We had an amazing awards ceremony, honoring classroom teachers for the first time. There was a classic Palm Springs Pool party with teams competing in the cardboard boat engineering challenge.
2023 CASE Awards Ceremony
2023 CASE Member Evening Event
In addition to the Conference we have made it so much easier to be connected through CASE. Membership annual dues were reduced to $10 for Preservice Teachers, $20 for New and Retired Teachers and $30 for all Educators to make sure that money was not an obstacle to belonging to your professional association.
We changed our process for joining committees so that you can join anytime with approval from the committee chairs. It used to be that you could only join committees for a brief period in the Spring. Joining a committee is a great way to get involved in CASE and share with the state. Visit the CASE website for details about committees and look out for the interest form next month.
CASE has gone from hosting a once a year conference to hosting regional meetings around the state like free member Happy Hours and Environmental Literacy Committee led hikes and outings.
We hold monthly online meetings such as Networking for Science for science leaders like Department Chairs and TOSAs, CASE Teacher Collab for all teachers, and the first Pre-service Teacher Cafe for those new to science teaching.
In addition, CASE hosts Facebook groups for High School, Middle School, Elementary School, District Coaches, Administrators, Informal Science Educators, and University Science Education Faculty. These are places to make connections, ask questions and share ideas around the state.
As I turn the Presidency over to the amazing teacher and friend Debbie Gordon, I want to thank all of the board members and volunteers who did so much over these past few years to build and sustain CASE and help us to create this vital statewide community!
It’s been a rough few years, connections help. Find yours at CASE!
With wonder and curiosity,