The importance of connection among other people is proven. Some would even argue that the sense of connection within your career is more important than any money, prestige, or accolades earned. The energy and trust we build through human connection is often the bedrock of our success within our career journey.
Throughout the ACTE Fellowship program, a strong sense of connection has been established through our mentor partnerships by encouraging fellows to express their feelings, excitement, frustrations, and questions while going through the program. This mentor relationship develops a haven and connection of acceptance and support. Also, meeting with ACTE Regional & Divisional Leaders and working with our prospective state association leaders further fosters this connection throughout the ACTE organization on multiple levels. The very nature of being in a cohort with people develops a connection within that particular group. We have experienced the ACTE Fellowship Program in a way like no other group of fellows has before us. This bond between our cohort will forever be a connection among our group of Fellows as we continue our leadership journey within ACTE and our careers.
As a school counselor, I am continually looking for opportunities to help students feel connected to their school, teachers, peers, and environment. During Covid-19, this sense of duty to connect others or seeing a need for connection within our peer groups has only grown. Throughout the ACTE Fellowship, I have watched our group learn to work through each curveball thrown into the original program. Our cohort used those moments and bumps along the way to develop our connection as a group. My personal favorite experience as an ACTE Fellow has been in making a connection with my mentor. This mentor relationship is a professional relationship that I feel confident will continue throughout my career. Still, it is also one that I know has developed into a personal friendship as well.
Sometimes it is easy and natural to make connections within a group of people. Sometimes connections happen due to circumstances and shared experiences. And connections also occur when we have common personality traits with our peers. Regardless of how these connections occur, I am confident that through Covid-19, it is further proof that connection among people is more than meaningful; it is necessary. I am thankful to the ACTE Fellowship Program during this pandemic for giving me another way to stay plugged in and connected to leadership growth, advocacy, and professional development.
“If only you could sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.”
-Mr. Fred Rogers