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Message from the Student Program Chair

Fan the Flames of Advocacy


You can be a leader without being an educator. But you can’t be an educator without being a leader. I’ve long held that view, but after starting my term in August as chair of the National Education Association’s Student Program, I believe it even more.

I have the privilege of meeting student members nationally, and I am pumped up by what I see and hear. Future educators are eager to put their unique stamp on their classrooms and to have a say about the future of education in their school districts. Membership in the Student Program has taught me what it means to be part of a national organization. Membership fosters mentorships and professional development. It provides the resources and leadership that support national campaigns like, “Degrees Not Debt,” and allows us to champion key legislative and public policy issues.

To continue building our organization’s strength, we must grow our ranks and encourage the activism that is inherent in all educators.

I realize that most student teachers don’t have a lot of time, but I challenge you to recruit three new Student Program members. Start by sharing your reason(s) for being a part of our organization.

These are mine:
I stay informed about issues affecting my future students and can access resources to ensure those students reach their full potential.

My membership provides professional development and quality teacher training that will help me succeed as a beginning teacher.

As a member, I am a part of an organization standing more than 3 million members strong. This gives me access to tools and advocacy that benefit all my students.

My membership also helps me build relationships with fellow student members and experienced educators.

No doubt, the challenges facing public education are big. But membership in the NEA Student Program means new educators never need to feel alone. Veteran teachers are eager to share their challenges, successes, resources, and knowledge. They also benefit from us.

We are the future of education and of NEA. We understand that the work of inspiring youngsters to be life-long learners continues long after students leave the classroom.

Let’s work together for the sake of our students and the sake of our profession. Continue to fan the flames of advocacy. I’d love to hear about your efforts.

--Chelsey Jo Herrig



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