MEA Frontline: Members Speak Blog

Dues and Lobbying

Looking back, I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into last school year, but I was asked to come to Lansing and lobby against a bill that would expand cyber schools in Michigan. Honesty, I didn’t really know what lobbying looked like. I mean I could tell you what a lobbyist is – but really how it worked—I had no idea.  What I did know is that MEA had lobbyists on staff who were full time and part of my dues dollars went to pay for them. 

The Role of Standardized Testing

Teachers need tests to determine if students have learned what was expected of them and if it is the right time to move on to the next objective. 

The data gathered from tests identifies areas of difficulty, which can help teachers adjust instruction for subsequent cohorts of students. Tests show teachers which students are achieving and the instructional strategies that are effective. Results from standardized tests can help inform educational policy, school improvement, or instructional practice and develop an action plan.

As a public school teacher, I choose to be in my union

Teacher unions have received their share of accusations just like any other unionized workforce. There has been a push this year to get more teachers to opt out of union membership, which had to be done in August. In my experience, I have seen teacher unions do more to aid in the education of students than any politician. In a line, teacher unions give teachers a voice in the massive political wheel of education reform.

Ensuring Teachers Remain in the Profession

There were definitely challenges I faced in my early years of teaching, such as how to do project-based learning, facilitate classroom discussions, and use technology effectively. A strong teaching internship experience and great mentoring programs have helped me become a successful teacher. Forging ahead on my own determination when the going got tough was essential. The wisdom that I gained with setting up classroom procedures and managing class time would benefit a newer teacher. 

Back to school, back to work

School starts next week all over Michigan and, as a teacher, I will spend these last few days of summer preparing myself for the excitement, intrigue and challenges ahead. I do a fair amount of prep work during each summer on the subjects I will be teaching, and, like many teachers, I find there is so much more to learn than time permits. My recreational reading will come to a screeching halt in a couple of days, and for the next nine months I’ll be collecting things I want to read for fun next summer. And late next August, I’ll wonder why that stack of books is still so tall.

An Open Letter to All Teachers Who Have Opted Out of Your Union

If you have opted out of the union, and if I knew you personally, I would most likely respect you as an educator, but I want to share my take on this situation. I don’t know what your reasons for your actions are, and don’t expect that you need to share them with me.  But I do know that many of you feel you just can’t afford the dues. Or perhaps you feel the union doesn’t do anything for you anyway.

MEA Matters!

It is important to be an MEA member. Our communities need an organization that will challenge school budget cuts, stand up for students, and inform the public on the status of bills in the legislature.

The E-Newsletters, MEA Voice Magazine, and other communications keep members alert! We continue to challenge educational issues such as charter school accountability, '”toxic testing”, and teacher retention.

Mackinac Center is Not Your Friend!!

By now, many of you have may have received an email from an individual named Peter Boyd, who is affiliated with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. The email provides information about how you can drop your membership in the union. This email went out to school employees statewide. I have talked with other local presidents whose members received the same email.

Let me remind you of who the Mackinac Center really is.

What MEA membership means

I come from what I consider a relatively unique background.  My father is a Democrat and union organizer.  My mother is a Republican whose father didn’t see the need for a wife and mother to go to college, so as an elementary student, I witnessed the drive for and benefits of higher education.  My mother became a CPA who passed the CPA exam on her first sitting and eventually represented management.   I am a second career teacher who was in risk management for a private sector property management company before a divorce led me to teaching.  These life experi

The MEA helps teachers

I’m a public school teacher and a member of the Michigan Education Association.

I’m also an independent with many conservative views.

Like many of my colleagues in public schools — Republicans, Democrats, independents — we’re appalled by attacks singling out our profession. We are outraged because these attacks ultimately hurt the children we have committed our lives to educating so they can learn and compete for jobs.

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