Dear NEA members,
United, we will reclaim public education as a common good and transform it into a racially and socially just system that actually prepares every student—not one, not some, but every single student—to succeed in a diverse and interdependent world. Onward!
Face to Face with NEA Members
My “Joy, Justice, and Excellence Tour” has introduced me to NEA members who create joy, fight for justice, and personify excellence in our schools. During my recent visit to Delaware, I met Gloria Ho, a school social worker who showed me around Milton Elementary’s food pantry—a community-supported operation that has provided 39,000 bags of food to local families. Amazing! I also was delighted to take a ride with James Miller, a school bus driver and president of his local who shared his insights into the driver shortage. I agree, James: You are far too often underpaid and underappreciated!
What I’m Listening To
NEA’s School Me podcast is one of my favorite listens (up there with Malcolm Gladwell!) It’s full of advice from educators like you and me, who’ve been there, done that. One of my favorites is Episode 66 with Larry Carey, a Columbus, Ohio, preschool teacher who reflects on why there are so few educators who look like him—a Black male—and how he and his colleagues have leaned on each other during the pandemic. Carey, who created his own YouTube channel to connect with students’ families during virtual learning, is an active union member who frequently advocates for his students at the Statehouse. “As a collective power, as a collective unit, we can cause change,” he says. That’s right, Larry! If we listen, we will learn and we will be inspired by what we hear.
Check it out below: