Can You Make a Difference? Yes, You Can!
In this world of grey cynicism and pale apathy, it’s easy to think that there is nothing we can do about the situation we are in. Many believe that we’re all at the mercy of anti-education politicians and State and Local Boards of Education who will decide our collective fate. And worse, many of our colleagues feel it’s not worth the struggle and have thrown in the towel. It’s easy to think that if you didn’t know what I know.
Talking to many Teacher and ESP Association Presidents from across the state of Maryland, they each speak from the heart about what ordinary educators and educational support professionals are doing to change the world and make it a better place – a safer place – a more just place – for their students, themselves and for their communities. How they are standing up for themselves and others.
They all speak about members reaching out beyond their classrooms and doing something big to save a little piece of their world. The amazing thing about each of their stories is that they are not unique. These miracles are repeated in school after school, county after county, and community after community because seemingly ordinary members and citizens decide that what they have is not good enough. It is because of members like these that we can still stand against those who would literally sell out our members, our students, and our communities to save a few bucks.
It is because of members like these that we have been able to organize and mobilize countless members and communities to call, write, march, testify, register and vote for something that we, our students and their families need. None of this happens by chance.
They happen because we, Local Associations, MSEA and NEA organize cyber-lobbyists. It happens because we can generate thousands of emails to Local, State and Federal Congressional members. It happens because we can organize thousands of visits to Local, State and Federal Congressional Offices. And it happens because we write articles and publish editorials and distribute position papers and studies and research on issues that affect our students, our families and our profession.
My fellow members, this may be a year when WCEA members will need to stand up as a collective whole and say enough is enough. It could be a rally at the Board of Education Offices. It could a mass showing at a Civic Center Budget Hearing. It could be a march on Annapolis!
You may be called to show up and be part of a large physical presence, asked to speak at a meeting, send emails or write letters. It will need to happen somewhere, at some time, and I hope WCEA members will stand united when the call goes out! Otherwise – they win and you lose.
Remember, wins happen because we are not alone. We have friends and fellow members standing together with us. Not only do we have power in numbers, but we have our commitment, our passion and our vision for something bigger and something better. But, the most important thing we have is each other.
Luckily, bothers and sisters, that’s all we need. So be prepared to go, to fight, and to win!