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Message from the Chair

Former Chair Mandy Plucker Talks about Member Power

Why did you join the National Education Association? Were you asked by a friend? A professor? Or did you stumble across the booth at the activities fair? Whatever your reason, I’m delighted to welcome a new member to NEA’s Student Program.

My question to you is: What kind of member are you? Are you an active member who goes to all the meetings, a casual member who takes part in some activities, or are you just a dues-paying member who doesn’t really participate in the decisions that will affect your future?

My advice to you is this: GET INVOLVED!

I had barely started my sophomore year of college when the Dean of Education asked me to help resurrect the Student chapter on my campus. Within a week, I was headed to Chicago  for my first Student Leadership Conference.

 I learned so much about education and the teaching profession, I had to share this information with other students on my campus. That fall I was determined to get students involved, and our chapter zoomed from 0 to 60 members in three months.

As members of NEA-SP, we learned that the more active we became, the more knowledge we acquired. I’ve gained a better understanding of policy issues—such as the No Child Left Behind law and the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act—that will profoundly affect my career as a teacher.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg! I’ve attended key professional workshops on a range of topics, from classroom management and discipline to working with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered (GLBT) students.

A good Student Program gives you the resources you’re not getting in college, helping you to become a well-rounded teacher and a strong advocate for public education. So, get involved and stay involved.

Most important, encourage other students to become members and get involved as well. You’ll learn more about education, grow as a person and as a professional, and be ready to take on your first teaching experience knowing you have 2.7 million members behind you!

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