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Healthy and Thriving



At this time of year it’s easy to fall into the New Year’s resolution trap. You know what I mean—you come up with a list of monumental things to accomplish or personal habits you’ll somehow radically change. Within weeks you’re overwhelmed by your own resolutions, which suddenly hang like an albatross around your neck. After some struggle, you extricate yourself by casting those goals into the Sea of Unfulfilled Promises and feel relieved just to be free of them.

There’s a better way to stay motivated!

The theme of this issue is striving for your personal best. In this case, we’re featuring members who have found wonderful ways to keep fit, through activities that invigorate their minds, bodies, and spirits. Fitness is not a once-a-year decision to do the right thing; it’s a commitment to making good choices that benefit your health, and giving yourself the time do the things that make you happy. Be it square dancing or hiking or water aerobics, the physical activities you love should be a priority.

The concept of the personal best applies to other realms of life as well. Doing your best as an educator wasn’t about swooping in one day with a lesson guaranteed to change lives—it was about striving every day to get your students excited about learning and helping them make crucial connections. Similarly, being a public education advocate isn’t all about campaigning for candidates in big elections. It’s just as important to maintain regular contact with your elected officials and help them understand what is best for students and educators.

With a new Congress just getting settled in Washington, it’s crucial that we all reach out to our representatives and remind them that we are watching, we have a powerful collective voice, and we will speak up for public schools, Social Security, and good health care policy—the things that will keep our society healthy and thriving. I wish you the best in 2011!

—Barbara Matteson

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