I frequently hear people ask about their state associations, “What do I get out of my membership?” or, “Why should I be a member?” I’m always curious to hear the answers and you can always tell who LOVES their organization to those who only renew for the conference discount or feel that it’s simply a professional obligation because their grad school professors told them it was important. A few years ago, I was one of those latter people. Had I been asked that question, I would have responded with, “I don’t know,” or, “nothing,” or, “a discount at conference,” because that’s all I was in it for. However, my experiences over these last few years, have led me to a different perspective…
The short answer to the above questions: “You get what you want out of it.” If you want a discount at conference, then you will definitely get exactly what you want! LSPA is HAPPY to provide that for you! We LOVE to see you at conference; that’s honestly the BEST part of the year and we want it to be something you can’t miss! In this case, we can most definitely give you what you want and we all win.
But, my friends will tell you, I’m not good with short answers. I never feel like that’s enough.
Another answer is: “You get what you put in.” If you don’t utilize your membership to further your profession then you probably won’t get much out of it. I never utilized my membership. I never looked at the website (until it was time to register for conference). I never reached out to my Region Rep, an Executive Council member, or other practitioners around the state to consult or collaborate with them. I never went outside of the group of my co-workers at conference. I didn’t participate in advocacy day or read the emails. I really didn’t get much out of my membership, but it was because I wasn’t trying to, not because there wasn’t more available to me. I truly had no idea and didn’t care about what was available to me as a member.
LSPA wants you to know that there IS more for you. There is SO much more that you CAN get from your membership, if you’re interested. For starters, LSPA will be sponsoring more PD opportunities throughout the year, in addition to our annual conference. As a member, you will be the first to learn about these new offerings and have the opportunity to sign up early with discounted rates. But that’s just one, small benefit. We are more than professional development.
LSPA is the VOICE of school psychologists in Louisiana – we are YOUR voice. By being a member, you help to make LSPA louder, stronger, more influential in making change and in finding ways to help support our profession and combat the critical shortage. LSPA is working for you; we are fighting for you – in Baton Rouge, in DC, within your parish/district, in our communities, and at NASP. We are you.
LSPA wants EVERY school psychologist in Louisiana to be an active member so that we are able to be truly representative of this profession. We want to know what’s important to you, what your problems are in your daily work, what supports you need, success stories that may help others, etc. One of LSPA’s duties is to make the everyday better for our members and ensure that you are getting the most out of your membership. If you have a school psych friend who isn’t a member, invite them to join. Have them talk to us at conference or email one of the EC members. If they have concerns about the organization, that’s ok! We’re happy to answer questions or listen to constructive criticism…kind of…that’s how we grow.
Thank you to all of our members who trust us to represent you; the EC hopes that we are making you proud. As Annie’s conference theme so accurately states, we are #StrongerTogether
Laura Maciaszek, NCSP