Member Voices

Member Voices

Labor Voices
Labor Voices: Respect is real cure for educator shortage

The solution to the severe shortage of educators in Michigan is as familiar as Aretha Franklin's anthem: R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Educators deserve not only words of respect for the job they do, but actions to prove that respect is real. Through our Michigan Educator Project, MEA has asked teachers and other school employees what is driving decisions to leave the profession.  Consistently…

Michigan teachers had a tough year. We can make next year better

Like many teachers in Michigan and across the country, I have followed recent news coverage of the alarming educator shortage from the perspective of an insider pushing through the hardest year of my career. Angela Perez However, I also occupy a unique perch from which to view the dire scene unfolding in the realms of educator recruitment and retention. Angela…

Teachers need tools, resources, and time to help students with trauma

by Tavia Redmond Since being inspired by my first-grade teacher, I have always wanted to follow in her footsteps. It’s one reason I became a teacher 28 years ago. Tavia Redmond Since then, I’ve worked hard with students to overcome tough situations, first in Kalamazoo and then my hometown of Romulus. This year’s challenges are unlike any other, but all…

Understand and support needs of future teachers

by Brittany Perreault Teaching is a calling. Teachers can change the world. To be a teacher is to touch a life forever. Brittany Perreault These lofty proclamations sound great with their implied respect for educators, but as a college student preparing to become a teacher, I’ve discovered that they actually serve to trivialize the profession to martyrdom. One minute teachers…

Overcoming fear and disrespect to help students succeed

Cara Lougheed by Cara Lougheed The first day of school this year was the most nerve wracking I’ve experienced in my 22 years as a teacher. Rather than the pandemic, my nerves had everything to do with starting the school year teaching to a computer screen. My anxiety didn’t lie in mastering the technology; rather, it was that I wouldn’t…

Labor Voices
Labor Voices: Michigan must face educator shortage after COVID-19

Amid our life-and-death fight against COVID-19, we must prepare to wage another high-stakes battle against a dire crisis that is worsening in its wake: the educator shortage. Ask school administrators and they’ll share their struggles to find enough teachers for every classroom. Similarly, there are fewer applicants for counselors, bus drivers, paraprofessionals and other education staff. A complete return to in-person learning — something…

Labor Voices
Labor Voices: COVID surge makes classroom too dangerous for students

April 14, 2021 By PAULA HERBART/President – Michigan Education Association The return to in-person learning in most districts means increased vigilance around safety measures is imperative. Michigan’s recent surge in COVID-19 cases is a danger to our students, families and communities.   Case numbers for kids 10-19 years old have skyrocketed. School outbreaks rose 47% over the last week of March and first week…

Labor Voices
Labor Voices: Education during pandemic requires teamwork and safety

March 10, 2021 By Paula Herbart/President - Michigan Education Association In sports, teamwork is valued by coaches, players and fans because we are stronger working together than alone. The same is true in education. During the pandemic, a strong team bond has formed between educators, students and families. Working together like never before, that team has created new ways of…

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Resources

Throughout the pandemic, MEA has been helping to lift member voices with the media and public. If you are interested in sharing your story or viewpoint with a wider audience, contact MEA Voice Editor Brenda Ortega at bortega@mea.org.