‘If you’re considering making a greater contribution to Eaquals as a Trustee, I can thoroughly recommend it.’
For the last three years I had the opportunity to serve as a member of the Eaquals Board of Trustees, and will come to the end of my elected term this year. In this blog post I’d like to reflect on the really positive experience I’ve had, and hopefully provide some helpful insights for other members who may be considering a nomination for the role of Eaquals Trustee.
I was nominated for election to the board of trustees in 2015, having communicated my willingness to stand in order to consolidate and enhance the role I was already playing as an active member of Eaquals development projects, and to better serve Eaquals on behalf of Eurocentres. As such this meant a decision to wear two hats, as the role of Trustee naturally places the interests of the Eaquals association above all others in board decision making and activities; this was nevertheless an easy decision to make given the clear alignment of Eaquals’ goals with those of Eurocentres, and indeed Eaquals has an inherent shared interest with each of its members in driving forward quality.
Concerning the election process itself I’ll be honest I was pretty nervous about this, but it turns out I needn’t have been. At first I was anxious about standing in ‘competition’ with another candidate who I knew to have far more experience and a stronger skill set than myself; however, it soon became apparent when communicating with all involved that Eaquals board member elections are not a competition, but an opportunity for the membership to be consulted on the composition of the board for the coming year, and indeed my fellow candidate was also elected at a later date, and deservingly so. The most valuable part of standing for election at the AGM was that it really helped me sharpen my own vision of how I wanted to contribute to Eaquals, by explaining it to others.
I’m pleased to say I have seen real progress over the last three years towards the goals I outlined at the time, largely because Eaquals is a ‘can do’ organisation that effectively mobilises the voluntary contributions of its members in a way that is uniquely and politely motivational. This spirit immediately came across to me in the first board meeting I attended – the atmosphere is collegial, principled, organised, and goal-oriented, and I felt welcomed from the start. I was also supported with an induction that didn’t assume any prior knowledge of Eaquals board procedures and responsibilities, which was a great help. It’s true I’ve had plenty to do during my tenure, on projects such as the blended learning indicators and teacher development recognition scheme, but this was always in connection with my own proposals, and based on respectful negotiation of time which I never found overly demanding or unreasonable. Indeed this blog itself is a feature of the enhanced digital communication and support I was keen to contribute to developing as a board member, and was made possible through the efficient coordination of the Executive Director and collaboration with other members.
The main thing I want to underline in this post is: if you’re considering making a greater contribution to Eaquals as a Trustee, I can thoroughly recommend it. As well as getting more involved I’ve learned a great deal from the experience and gained a better insight into what makes Eaquals tick – not least the underlying principles set out in the charters that are genuinely heartfelt and protected by the board. I’ve come to understand that Eaquals is not a hierarchy, and everyone’s voice is respected and valued, so there is no ‘profile’ to fulfil in standing for election to the board, only that you are a member and really care about what Eaquals stands for. Most of all I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to play a key role in the Eaquals ‘family’ in this way (I use the word without irony!), and my contribution of course doesn’t end here. Feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any queries about what it’s like, and the Eaquals team themselves are always happy to help with questions too!