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La Leche League International
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The Education Campaign Comes to a Close

Alice Edwards,
Education Campaign Coordinator
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 35 No. 6, December 1999-January 2000, p. 137

"Mastery does not mean that a teacher knows so much about a subject that there is nothing further to learn about it, for learning is always an endless journey. Instead, mastery should mean that good teachers are those who have made good progress in that journey, are willing to retrace their steps along it, and thus can help those behind them find their own way on the same path.” The Elements of Teaching, Banner

THANK YOU for actively participating in our year-long, organization-wide dialogue by

  • exploring the issues raised during the campaign with other Leaders,
  • making it a priority to study the 1998 accreditation policies to deepen your understanding of the policies and the Leader's role in accreditation,
  • reading, writing and translating Leader materials,
  • developing and attending interdepartmental sessions at conferences,
  • sending in articles to share with Leaders worldwide on the EC Website.

The LLLI Board of Directors made it a priority to make sure all Leaders had access to the 1998 accreditation policies. Through the hard work and dedication of many Leaders, they are now available in English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Greek, Japanese, and Cantonese on the LLLI Website.

During the Education Campaign (EC), LLLI emphasized international information-sharing for Leaders and an interdepartmental approach to providing Leader support. It's impossible to overestimate the impact email/web access has today in providing us with an affordable way of not only sharing information with each other but of actually conversing - expanding our individual understanding of LLLI policies and issues through direct exposure to a world of perspectives. In the first EC article in LEAVEN I wrote, "The EC gives LLL an exciting opportunity to find new ways for departments to collaborate and infuse our whole organization with new strength." This year Area Councils have put tremendous time and energy into finding new ways of working together to provide support for Leaders. We all hope that these productive methods of communication will continue for years to come.

The LLLI Conference provided Leaders and administrators with in-person opportunities to explore EC issues together. At the two EC "Let's Talk" sessions, large groups participated in open conversations with LLLI Founders, Board members and the LAD Directors. Some of the comments were:

  • The Breastfeeding Resource Guide is a big improvement in standardizing Leader skills.
  • Do the new policies "water down" the philosophy? Will they result in a “drift" away from the core of what LLL is?
  • People are bound to interpret the wording of policies in different ways. It doesn't mean people need to make a radical change.
  • If we don't see the philosophy in the experience, we don't accredit.
  • LLL was built on trust; we need to stay with that.
  • Role-playing might help Leaders learn how to approach women about leadership as well as how to say "no" to women who are not qualified.
At the International Management Symposium, administrators brainstormed the qualities they think of when they "picture a Leader." I thought you'd enjoy reading what they came up with. No doubt about it - LLL Leaders are special people! Together we are a vibrant community of women excited about providing breastfeeding support for new mothers around the world.

- mother - radiates joy of breastfeeding -respectful - knowledgeable - dedicated - enthusiastic - empathetic - good listener - firsthand breastfeeding experience - accepting - good communicator - inviting - loving - nurturing - willing to learn - persistent - common values - positive self-image - empowering - caring about children - comfortable in her mothering - joyful - intelligent - optimistic - patient - family first - growth in mothering - potential - willingness - gentle - confident - open-minded - discerning - responsible - dynamic - organized - friendly - shares - non-judgmental - giving - integrity - generous - HRE skills - in touch with her instincts - considers new ideas - compassionate - likes people - motivated - resourceful - flexible - wants to contribute - team player - conviction - world vision - sense of humor - objectivity - good sense of boundaries - creative - accepting of other's differences - lifelong learner - cooperative - available - problem solver - accountable - thrifty - genuine authentic - passionate - visionary

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