It takes a lot of work to organize people, to let them know the types of opportunities that exist within the union to help improve our profession – not just for us but for students too. But as part of NEA’s member organizer cadre, I learned how to connect with people and build genuine relationships with them. Equally important, I learned how to come out of my comfort zone.
As an organizer, I take my role seriously. I firmly believe that many voices are better than one and together we can create a chain reaction of positive changes. When I meet with potential members, I’m not selling them life insurance plans. I’m asking them about what they want to see in their school buildings, what struggles they face – these are questions many people never get asked.
Last summer, over a weekend, I signed up 22 people to join our union, Goshen Education Association and Wyoming Education Association, during a custodial conference in Casper, Wyoming. Custodians are amazing! They make our schools run top notch. And like educators, they also deal with workplace challenges – especially during the pandemic. For me, I want them and every education support professional to know their union values them and their voice matters to us. These are more than just signatures too. These are long-term relationships that help us build off our unique skills and strengths.
Membership growth is important to me, which is why I’m passionate about organizing. Over the years, I’ve found that I was the ESP people came to when there was a problem. I wasn't afraid to say something or ask questions. Why? Because my unions have my back. I want all ESPs to know that too.