This is an encore from 2008. 2008?!?! How can it be that a post I wrote in 2008 is still relevant? No, don’t answer that.
I get my news from a variety of sources: my local newspaper, news websites online, and more. I find people who are like-minded online, too. This primary election — you know, the longest one in recent history — isn’t as dull as some say. In fact, even as I worry that Party conflicts may provide the opposition with too much ammunition, I’m finding it downright fascinating.
Teaching is a political profession. Besides the internal district politics, administrative power and control, my daily work is affected by decisions made in the state capital and in Washington, D.C. When my friends tell me that they just want to “close their doors and teach,” I want to grab them by the shoulders, look them in the eyes, and say, “You can’t shut out the laws! You need to help make them! And change them!” And then I want to go home and write a letter to my senators and congressional reps.
A few years ago Rod Paige, then Secretary of Education, called my national association (the NEA) a nasty name. He asserted that our tactics were terrorist in nature. I wrote letters. I sent emails. Many, many educators did the same. By calling teachers terrorists, he put us in the category of those with whom our government is at war. This kind of outlook in the Bush cabinet has been very damaging to public education.
Now the NEA (National Education Association) is looking for slogans to help publicize the need for professional wages in education. I have a few ideas, and I know there are clever educators who can access their inner salesperson and come up with a really good campaign. What do you think, boys and girls? Women and men? Ladies and gentlemen of the classroom and beyond? Educating everyone takes everyone — in the village and beyond — and it’s not cheap.
My slogan thoughts so far:
Do the math: pay like a pro.
No Classroom Left Unfunded
A “free” Public Education is priceless, not costly.
There are slogans built into existing quotes, too:
If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.
But for now, I’ll keep informed on the upcoming election and I’ll keep writing creative and effective lesson plans to connect with students in every way I can. I feel fortunate to work in a great field, one where I can make a difference. My votes can help ensure support from the legislatures and the White House.
Yours can, too.
And if you’d like an updated perspective, look to The Broad Side. You’ll see why this is sadly still relevant.