Like many others that I mix with online and offline, I am already an active member of a subject association and a member of many other education networks. I like to think that I’m fairly well informed about key issues in education.
Through the Association of Science Education I get subject-specific advice, access to regional and national CPD conferences at reduced rates, I get access to a network of science teachers, I get my Chartered Science Teacher status, I get two science-related magazines and I even get my professional insurance. This is my benchmark of a professional organisation.
When I joined the Chartered College last year I saw it as taking a punt. I didn’t know what I was going to get but it was only £29 for me to join, so I signed up and became a founding member.
Time flies and a year later I find myself being asked to renew (although the price has crept up to £45, 65% more than I paid last time). I reflected on how much I’ve used my membership (it’s why I’m still a member of the National Trust, I visit their properties and car parks enough to justify the membership fee).
So how have I gained (or not) personally by being a member of the Chartered College?
- I have received two (?) journals over the last twelve months
- I’ve received a lapel badge and a notepad with the Chartered College logo on.
- I once downloaded some of the summary materials from the University of Bristol (although this isn’t listed as a membership benefit any longer)
- I’ve twice accessed the research database, once to write a blog post and once to research a presentation proposal.
- I didn’t go to the annual conference – I couldn’t justify the cost plus the train ticket (more than the conference fee) to attend
- I am already a Chartered Teacher at a fraction of the cost – I don’t see the recognition through the Science Council as being any less meaningful
- I have only just discovered my ex-MAT is on the list of CCT founding networks…
Since I joined last time, my career path has taken a sudden and unexpected detour from the chalk face and although I’ve got more time to make use of the benefits they still haven’t been that useful. I love the Chartered College and all it stands for but in times when money is getting increasingly tighter for all in the profession, I join others in having to consider this purchase carefully before I make it.
Is your membership up for renewal? What decision have you made? How did you make your decision? Should I stay or should I go?