The Role of Educators
JSA’s student leaders benefit from the educational guidance of adults at all levels of the organization. At the chapter level, the Teacher Advisor helps the chapter’s student leaders by suggesting debate and discussion topics, directing students to sources for research, and helping the chapter remain non-partisan by ensuring that all sides of the issues discussed are represented.
JSA allows for an exchange of ideas through stimulating student debates, thought talks, problem-solving, and a variety of simulations. By participating in these activities, each JSA member gains a more intelligent and informed viewpoint. JSA also provides a wonderful chance to meet and make friends with scores of other bright, involved students who have similar interests.
JSA is a national organization organized at the local chapter level. These chapters collectively form regions which coordinate communication with chapters and run regional events annually. The regions form states which run three large overnight conventions a year, and the national level of general program operations.
How Educators Help
Starting JSA Chapters
Chapters are the heart of JSA. It is where students learn basic leadership through planning, fundraising, and public speaking. Have students that are interested? Download our step-by-step guide on starting a chapter at your high school.
Attend JSA Conventions
Teacher Advisors are very active in helping chapters prepare for conventions by navigating proper approval from the school and/or school district, sending registration materials to the Junior State offices, and supervising students on the trip.
Though JSA is a student-run organization, without engaged Teacher Advisors our programs would not be as successful and educational as they are today. We hope you will find being a JSA Teacher Advisor a very rewarding experience.
TAs are a great resource for chapters when it comes to providing ideas for events, debates, activism, or whatever a chapter may decide to do. Additionally, TAs should guide students in running meetings, debates, and other chapter activities.
Membership is one indicator of chapter health. TAs are a valuable asset for student leaders when it comes to recruiting and retaining members.
Tips for Effective TA-Chapter Management
Build a Culture of Leadership
Strong chapters have a strong culture of leadership. Experienced students identify underclassmen and train them on being effective leaders. By building a strong culture of leadership in your chapter, students can realize their potential and make your life easier by assuming more and more responsibility for chapter affairs.
Delegating can be difficult for students, but it is an important skill to learn. Effective delegation allows student leaders to maximize their impact.
Identify underclassmen who are dedicated and have leadership potential. Purposefully train these underclassmen so they are ready to lead the club in the future.
Even strong chapters can improve. Encourage your students to be thoughtful and examine how to make your chapter even better. Focus on what you can control and use data to make your decisions (membership numbers, funds raised, etc.).
Keep a positive attitude and focus on results!
Always offer support and help before criticism. Student leaders sometimes drop the ball on their responsibility. Encourage your students to hold each other accountable, but they should seek to help each other before criticizing another student’s performance.