Message from the Student Program Chair
R. Jermaine Coleman
NEA Student Program Chairperson
Whosoever has the audacity to teach also needs the humility to continue learning.
Students of today, as we embrace our future as teachers in the classroom, we join the fight to close the achievement gap in our public education system.
To close that gap, we should strive to be leaders, yes, but we must also keep our minds open and searching. NEA will help prepare us for the challenges we’ll face and stay by our side today, tomorrow, and always.
Today…. NEA is a nationwide, 3.2-million member network of educators, ranging from students to retirees, united behind the mission to ensure great public schools for every student and quality teachers in every classroom.
The NEA Student Program works toward this mission by focusing on its core values: Professional Development, Community Outreach, and Political Awareness and Action. Every time we practice a core value, we strengthen the organization and ourselves in preparation of our forthcoming roles.
Tomorrow…. In President Barack Obama, tomorrow’s teachers have found an ally who promises that public education will be a priority. Even as we dream of what tomorrow may bring, we must focus on what we will do each day.
We must be prepared to exhaustively analyze ourselves as educators, to constantly review our syllabi, lesson plans, homework assignments, lectures, quizzes, and collaborative learning opportunities, assessing our strengths and looking for ways to improve our weaknesses. The smallest of adjustments can make a great difference in the lives of our students.
Always…. Effective teachers are driven by passion—not the pursuit of glory or fame. The number of cars and houses we own won’t influence a student, but our teaching has the potential—for better or worse—to make a lasting, indelible impression. That’s powerful.
Moreover, students of today and teachers of tomorrow, I challenge you to get involved in your Association, to start right now down the path of professional self-improvement.
Don’t wait until tomorrow to get to know the resources at your disposal as a member of the National Education Association, resources that can help you make manifest the great potential you’ll see in your students.
As your Chairperson, I always look forward to working with, listening to, hearing from, and seeing you often. Remember, this is our job and, as Maya Angelou said, “nothing will work unless you do.”
We can accomplish anything … Yes We Can.