I have never really had an opinion on them one way or the other. I thought they were for tall leggy blondes who were unable to make friends on their own. There was a lot of fanfare with them. Some people even laughed at the depth of the population that composed them.
It has taken me a long time to understand that while a sorority serves its purpose when you are in college, its impact isn’t really felt until many years later.
After retirement, I was asked to join Delta Kappa Gamma. I wrinkled my nose at the idea. A sorority? No, thanks. I am a girl of the 70’s. We believe in loving everyone. However, after some persistence by members to give it a try, I reluctantly joined.
If you have ever been a teacher, this organization reminds you why. Your work and service is not done after teaching. This group, in addition to supporting young girls in education, builds up the masses of teachers who can mentor the younger ones still in the trenches. It is a wonderful configuration of caring, nurturing people who share the same vision for education.
I attended the Michigan Convention in Bay City last week. Greeted by name by both the outgoing and incoming presidents, I felt humbled and anxious. How would I fit in with these PhD women who had so much more experience in education than I?
We were regaled by the Michigan Teacher of the Year, the Director of the Peace Corps, and debutantes from the organization. Being a newbie, I felt 18 again. I didn’t know the ropes and played the role of observer for much of it.
I presented a breakout session on Palanca Leadership and felt like a rock start. Sure, having a teacher audience, one member approached me to tell me I had misspelled a word in my presentation, but it was all good. Teachers do help teachers.
I would encourage any teacher who is looking to belong to a professional organization to reach out to the Delta Kappa Gamma chapter near you. It is an international organization, so you are never far from a group of like-minded women. The work they are doing with young women in education is impactful.
Thank you to all these nurturing women! You have changed my mind about the network of a sorority. It really is a group of people who care.
Thanks for listening.