- Frederick Douglass: “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” - July 4, 2021
- President Biden Pushes For Teachers To Get Their COVID Vaccine Dose By March - March 2, 2021
- We’re Just People Who Don’t Want To Be Killed! A Student Reflection About Insurrection - January 26, 2021
- Betsy DeVos Resigns: Most Teachers Say Good Riddance - January 8, 2021
- Class Divide in Emergency Learning: A Crisis Overseas - September 10, 2020
- Practicing Self-Care in the Midst of Chaos - August 31, 2020
- Do the Work: Equity Symposium for Teachers - August 23, 2020
- Universities Collaborate on the Biggest Experiment in Higher Ed: Reopening - August 3, 2020
- The Day of Teacher Self-Care is Happening August 1, 2020 - July 21, 2020
- Do the Work: A Conversation Around Anti-Racist Teaching in K-12 Schools - June 14, 2020
Before I entered education 11 years ago I never thought I'd be in a union. I believed unions were only necessary in the movies or years ago when bosses wanted workers to work in factories for 12 hours a day for pennies on the hour. So when I signed my teacher paperwork I was hesitant to sign up for the union, Memphis Educators Association. The fee was $28 per pay period, but just when I was about to mark "no" a voice inside me told me to give it a try and if necessary, I could always cancel it.
As I started in my first school I was sure that I would see my union participating in protests, plotting against our principal and occasionally partaking in other 'political' agendas. I was wrong. Our union representative was a teacher who did much more then I ever thought a union rep would have to do. She counseled teachers, encouraged collaboration and even worked hand in hand with our school administrators. While my experience with a union has been nothing but positive, however when I relocated to a "right to work" state I now understand how misunderstood teacher unions are to the general public.
1. Unions protect bad teachers. This is the number one complaint I hear from union busters. In reality, unions don't protect bad teachers, incompetent administrators who do by not properly documenting the teacher's ineffectiveness are the real culprits. Instead I witnessed my union representative attempting to help weaker teachers perfect their crafts. The union offered classes at their headquarters to help teachers become better at their craft. Many teachers got better in the classroom, while the ones who struggled stayed in the classroom because administrators did not complete the required paperwork to remove those teachers.
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