A Message From the President: Nurturing a Love for Educating
Nurturing a Love for Educating
Barbara Matteson firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s heartwarming to hear about families that are chock full of devoted educators, like the ones featured in this issue.
It almost makes you think they have a “teaching gene” they pass from generation to generation.
But no, this is a case of nurture over nature—when young people grow up with elders devoted to public education, they are more likely to deeply value it as well.
Of course, there are many factors at play when it comes to deciding on a professional path, and lots of kids raised in similar families will do something else when they grow up.
After all, young people who need loans to get their college education will rightfully be concerned about paying them back on an educator’s starting salary.
And what about the horror stories about the punitive No Child Left Behind law? They’re enough to make most of us glad we’re retired now—so imagine how they sound to someone just starting out!
But nurturing a love for educating doesn’t happen only within families, and NEA-Retired members are in a unique position to help keep great educators in our schools.
We’ve been there; we’re a trusted source of advice. We can encourage talented young people to consider going into education, and support the ones who make that choice.
Now in its fifth year, NEA’s Intergenerational Mentoring program is growing, and so is the number of success stories of retirees mentoring student teachers, keeping them in the field and afloat through those first critical years.
And of course we should never let up on lobbying for better conditions for educators and keeping our elected officials focused on supporting public education.
We can help balance the conversation with reminders of how great the rewards of working in our public schools are—for educators and for our society.
They may not be our children, but all the young people going into the field of education are still ours to support and nurture. Keeping them in our schools is a legacy we can all share.