Summer Leadership Conference


Virtual Conference, MD 21801


2020 MSEA Summer Leadership Conference

Takin’ It New School! Union Values for These Times

Our first virtual Summer Leadership Conference will explore our rich union history—the foundation of the exciting new union movement of the past several years. From the platform of each workshop’s theme and curriculum, hosts and attendees will reflect on how school closures and the continuing coronavirus crisis impact public education and MSEA’s agenda.

In the core trainings, two T(Ed)Talks, nine self-selected electives, and discussions, attendees will also discover the issues and skills that make the new union movement relevant and successful. You’ll discuss how we can respond with intelligence, compassion, and a thoughtful strategy to these difficult times.

General Daily Agenda for All Trainings and Workshops




*All trainings are designed for both certificated and ESP members


Making an Impact on Upcoming Elections during COVID: What will the General Election look like in November? Will they be held electronically? By mail?  How can we win for public education?

Self-Care for COVID and Beyond: These are stressful times. Join this session to learn self-care techniques to use right now and how you can bring them back to your local.

Apathy Does Not ExistHow to Get People Involved Virtually or Otherwise: It’s easy to say people don’t act because they don’t care, but that’s just not true. This elective will explore how to inspire hope, raise expectations, and motivate downtrodden to join our work!

Charter vs. Community Schools: There is a big difference between charter and community schools, and only one is right for our communities. This session will explore the MSEA’s legislative wins on bringing community schools to Maryland, what the successful model looks like, and how the union can ensure that community schools support the students and communities who need it most.

How to Run an Effective Committee: Committees are a foundational part of a member-driven union, yet often lack a clear vision and follow through. Join this session to learn more about what successful committees look like and how to successfully implement the work of the union.

Unionism 101: Join this session to learn from the successes and failures of the union movement throughout history and what it means to be a union member today.

Overcoming Prejudice and  Stereotypes to Make a Difference in Your Union: Hear from a diverse panel of leaders about their journey to becoming a union leader and what opportunities and resources you should take advantage of to be the leader you want to be.

Using Technology to Engage Members and Win! COVID-19 has forced us to engage online more than we ever thought, or hoped to, but the issues that we face and must act on will not go away. Join this elective to learn more about the tools out there and how you can use them effectively. This will cover everything from routine union business, like 10-minute meetings and  representative assemblies, to escalating campaigns for school budget funding and elections.

The Four Motivations of Recruitment: Getting people involved can be one of the biggest barriers to organizing. Join this elective to learn the different reasons why people get involved and how you can use that to successfully ask people to join the movement.

MSEA’s Summer Leadership Conference uses the NEA leadership competency framework. Learn more about the framework and the NEA Leadership Competencies here.

2020 Trainings


For (but not limited to): New ARs or members considering being an AR

Level 1 – Foundational

NEA Leadership Competency – Organizing

Participation limit: 30 members

Association representatives (ARs) play a valuable role in ensuring that their association effectively advocates for members, students, and community. This training will build a foundational role and provide a toolbox of skills for ARs.

DAY 1  AR Basics: What to Do When You Get Back to School

We will cover:

DAY 2   Issue Identification and Case Studies for New ARs


For (but not limited to): Member contract teams, experienced ARs, local officers

Level 1: Foundational

NEA Leadership Competency: Advocacy

Participation limit: 15 members

**This course is recommended for 2 or more members with the same negotiated agreementso that the research and role plays are valuable.

Know Your Contract’s Grievance Process:  Learn about one of the most important features of your negotiated agreement, the problem solving and grievance process.  What are the steps? Who is covered by it and under what circumstances? When is it implemented? Are there specific timelines? Who has a role in its implementation and progression? Do you have a role as a site-based advocate?   

DAY 1  Overview of the Grievance Process

DAY 2  What Does Your Contract Say?

Trainees share findings from local association contracts and practices, with follow-up discussion and idea exchange for site-based advocacy in their local association.


For (but not limited to): ARs, members of faculty advisory councils, all members

Level 1: Foundational

NEA Leadership Competency: Organizing

Participation Limit: 30 members

All educators face numerous challenges at their worksite daily, often with no clear path to resolution. That’s where organizing comes in!

DAY 1  Identifying Organizing Issues

Attendees will walk away understanding what makes an issue a good “organizing” issue and why organizing is the foundation for a strong union.

DAY 2  One-on-One Organizing Conversations

So now you know what the issue is, how do we get people involved to win? By having intentional one-on-one conversations whose goal is move an educator to action.

This workshop will be hands-on, putting organizing theory into practice with simulations, role plays, and scenarios.


For (but not limited to): Experienced ARs, graduates of Organizing 1, Organizing Committee Members, all members

Level 2: Mobilizing and Building Power

NEA Leadership Competency: Organizing

Participation limit: 40 members

As a union, the worksite is the epicenter of organizing efforts, but to build the power needed to win what our students and members deserve, we must be prepared to go beyond the worksite.

DAY 1  Bargaining for the Common Good (BCG)

Join this session to learn more about BCG, the successes unions in Maryland and across the country have had make a difference on issues beyond wages, working conditions, and benefits.

DAY 2  Building an Organizing Coalition

Expanding your scope of impact also requires more allies, but that isn’t always easy. Learn more about how to build a coalition that involves all the stakeholders but stays on track to support the organizing you need to win.


*Limited to: Early career educator (ECE) members (those with less than 10 years in the profession) who currently are leading an ECE group, committee, or have been selected to start an ECE initiative in their local.

Level 1: Foundational

NEA Leadership Competency: Organizing and Communication

Participation limit: 25 members

As more and more new teachers enter  and leave the profession,  ECE members are leading MSEA’s efforts to support others early in their careers.. Have you heard about locals having ECE groups or committees that are successfully engaging ECEs and want to start one yourself? Are you currently running a committee designed to engage ECEs or somewhere in between?

DAY 1  Connect and Lead Fellow Early Career Educators: How and Why

ECEs are the future of the profession and of the union. This session will explore why supporting ECEs is so important, what we know they need, and best practices on how to support them in your local.

DAY 2  Making the Most of a New School Year to Launch Your ECE Group

Hear from a variety of ECEs about their experiences running a local ECE group with time for planning, discussions, and feedback.


For (but not limited to): Bargaining team members, attendees of MSEA’s Collective Bargaining Conference, SLC Bargaining 1 graduates, new bargaining team members

*Must have some bargaining experience or knowledge

Level 2: Mobilizing and Power Building

NEA Leadership Competency: Advocacy

Participation limit: 30 members

DAY 1  Bargaining in Maryland

Join this session for a review of the nuts and bolts of bargaining. This includes the law, principles, and best practices.

DAY 2  Bargaining in These Times

Bargaining has a strong legal foundation, but to continue to engage at the table and win,  we must adapt. This session will dig into what virtual bargaining has looked like, tips and best practices, and things to consider when disaster bargaining to protect members.


For (but not limited to): SPARKS graduates, new ARs, new committee members, members interested in becoming association leaders

Level 1: Foundational

NEA Leadership Competency: Governance and Leadership

Participation limit: 25

The longstanding ELA is an introductory course that trains new leaders and those who are starting to pursue leadership roles in the association. Graduates of ELA have chaired local committees, and served as local presidents and MSEA directors.

DAY 1  Union History 101

To be a leader in the union movement, one must understand the history of the labor movement, our national, state and local association, and the values that make great leaders in the union movement.

DAY 2  What it Takes to be a Leader in Today’s Climate

Being a leader is always hard, but the global coronavirus pandemic has intensified the need for, and demands on, union leaders. This session will cover what it takes to be a leader and how you can use your story of self to galvanize those around you.


*Limited to: Current local officers of MSEA locals

MSEA’s Local Officers Advance

Level 3: Agenda Driving

NEA Leadership Competency: Governance and Leadership

Participation Limit: No limit, but open to local officers only

DAY 1: Leadership in Times of Crisis: Experiences and Learnings

Local officers will hear from other officers to discuss and share about how to respond to a crisis and lead beyond it so the union emerges stronger.

DAY 2: Activism and Communication in a Virtual World

This session will cover different platforms to use when transitioning to a virtual world and how you can escalate the actions we take as union activists to win for our members.