Letter from NEA President Dennis Van Roekel
As I entered my first classroom in Iowa, I recall the anticipation, anxiety, and fun in store! The learning curve was steep—I remember feeling overwhelmed by all the paperwork and forms. And there were 160 students counting on me—quite a culture shock from my student teaching days. So I jumped in with both feet. I took seating charts home every night and by the end of the first week of school, I had memorized every student’s name. I was more tired after my first week of teaching than after working 2 full-time jobs all summer. It’s a tough job, but it’s also where I loved to be.
Today, I work in new surroundings as NEA President. But I still get the same rush from being part of such a unique and awesome profession. My new experiences will be special in their own way. But those “first days” are always memorable!
President Obama is now spending his first days in the Oval Office—complete with new opportunities and new challenges, not unlike walking into your first classroom. When I walk out the front door of our NEA headquarters in Washington D.C., I can see the White House. Here's a chance to welcome NEA’s new neighbor as President Obama settles in down the street.
Write to President Obama and let him know what local schools and students need. Voting is only the beginning of your political activism. You must stay engaged to make sure elected leaders deliver on their promises. The list of issues is long and we need your voice.
Together, we can make a difference—and harness our power to change things for the better for our students and public schools!
Best of luck,
Dennis Van Roekel