Invest in Your Future: Renew Your NNSTOY Membership Today

Invest in Your Future: Renew Your NNSTOY Membership Today

By Angie Miller, 2011 New Hampshire State Teacher of the Year:

I remember arriving home from Princeton and New York City, wracked by sadness after having said goodbye to all of my STOY friends, and feeling confused about what lay ahead for me. My speaking engagements were starting to wrap up. My travel was nearing an end. With a year of discussing important pieces of educational policy with leaders from around the state and country behind me, I was now about to be set back into my classroom’s daily grind as though nothing had happened.

Yet, everything had happened. Let’s be honest: not one of us can say that our year of service did not impact our teaching practices, career trajectories, belief systems, friendships, or marriages. None of us walked away from that year, unscathed or unmoved in some way. We entered as one person and left another, and this was equally terrifying and exciting. The months that immediately followed were filled with confusion about where we wanted to go and what we wanted to do. In order to continue to be immersed in meaningful, fulfilling work, we needed to find the right place, emotionally and physically. And that would look different for each of us.

That September morning when I left New York City, I thought I was saying goodbye to my new family, but what I didn’t realize was, instead, I was entering a larger, extended family. Years of teachers, behind and ahead of me join together under the umbrella of our organization, the National Network of State Teachers of the Year. Every time we attend a conference or partner with other STOYs for research or collaboration, we find ourselves embraced by fellow educators who share the same collective experience. NNSTOY has opened doors for us, introducing us to treasured friends, colleagues who challenge our thinking, partnerships that allow us to share our expertise, and opportunities to pursue our dreams. And through these experiences, we have been able to piece together that place that we are most comfortable in.

It is important to remember though, that the benefits we receive from NNSTOY—collegiality, friendship, professional rigor, opportunity— come because of generous donors who believe in the work we do. And so our membership to the organization is critical. When donors see that we band together in numbers, on paper, they trust our efficacy and dedication. When we, as an organization, say, “Yes. We matter. Yes. We want to partner with you,” we are also saying, our individuals are united in our belief in the work the organization does.

As you think back to where you were, that year your service ended, and how you weren’t sure what your personal trajectory looked like, think of how NNSTOY’s mission has supported you. And consider how this mission can continue to impact policy and training. And know that it’s not so much about the collection of a membership fee, but the collection of our names that indicates we are a large body of competent, dynamic professionals who are determined to have a voice at the educational table. We know we are a close-knit family, for sure, so let’s present ourselves that way to the world. Renew your membership today.

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