Though JSA is a student run organization, our staff knows that without quality Teacher-Advisors (TAs) our programs would not be as smooth and successful as they are today. While being a TA at a JSA Convention can be time consuming, we hope you will find that it is a very rewarding experience.
Convention check-in is usually at a desk set up in the hotel lobby and manned by JSA staff and student leaders from 8 am and 10 am. The TA and the Chapter President (CP) should come to the registration desk to sign in, but only after you have confirmed that all your students have arrived and are accounted for. There you will receive agendas and name tags for every student and chaperon to distribute. Later in the day (usually around 4pm), the Program Director will have a TA meeting in the hotel to discuss logistics for the convention and hand out the student keys.
Either during the check-in or at the TA meeting there will be a sheet where you will sign up for a shift (usually 1 or 2 hours) either monitoring the halls, monitoring other evening activities, or chaperoning the dance. On Sunday, collect the room keys from your students and turn them in to either the hotel or the Program Director. We also ask that you stay in the hotel until every one of your students has been picked up by their parents, or otherwise checked out by you.
Though our students are generally well behaved, you may have to deal with disciplinary problems. At the event as the representative of your school, you are legally responsible for your students. This means that students must follow the rules both listed by JSA for the convention and any your school or school district have regarding overnight conventions. If a student commits a violation of the rules, then you as the T/A will work with the Program Director to see what the punishment will be. If the violation is serious enough, then he/she will have their parents called and be sent home.
Beyond logistical and disciplinarian responsibilities, TAs should make sure all students are prepared for the convention. Important things to go over before the event are:
- The dress code (both during the day and at the dance)
- That they know where to meet to check in on the first day of the event and check on the last day
- If you are having a group breakfast/lunch/dinner – where, what time they should meet
- They should all have your cell phone number or a way to reach you in an emergency
- Make sure they have money for meals
- Make sure they understand the rules and the consequences for breaking them, as well as the physical boundaries where they are allow to operate
- Where to pick up their keys from you
- Make sure you have a copy of every students signed permission slip
The Junior Statesmen Foundations knows that we ask a lot of our teachers, who volunteer their weekends to chaperon their students at our conventions, and the JSA Staff certainly appreciates the all help you give us. We hope you have a good time at the event watching your students excel, either as a speaker or in a leadership role and we hope this compensates for all the hard work you put in to making these conventions successful.