Thoughts, links & ideas from the 2008 National Teacher of the Year

Each time I've taken off in a plane since May (which is a lot), I've been writing in my journal, then adding these journal entries on this blog.

Check in often, or subscribe to get headlines fed to you! Oh, and the views expressed here are not those of anyone but me.  And anyone who happens to share the same views, I guess.

(Note: the blue posted dates are actually the dates I wrote the journal entries, not when I posted them online.)

Friday, October 24, 2008

No Frothy Punch for You!

Fargo, ND


Scandal!  The new North Dakota teacher of the year isn’t a member of the union!


Beth, who happens to be a remarkable teacher, passionate advocate for students, and a really kind and sincere gal, was the clear choice for ND teacher of the year.  However, when she was in the lobby of the hotel prior to the afternoon reception for the TOY finalists, she was asked not to attend.


“Two members of our leadership team gave her opportunities to join the union today,” I was told, “but she chose not to.  That’s just sad.  I hope she comes around at some point.”


I guess I can understand their disappointment, and I realize that they were paying for the event, but that’s just plain rude.  Can’t we all honor her achievement and hard work on behalf of children?  Can’t we respect the fact that many teachers have a different viewpoint on some issues than union leadership?  Can’t we all just get along?  I kind of thought we were all on the same team, at least.


I hate to put it this way, but as a middle school teacher… let’s grow up a little.


[Editor's note: some relatives of mine saw this on the front page of the Grand Forks paper and forwarded it to my dad, who forwarded it to me.  Scandal! ]


1 comment:

  1. Welcome to my world. Think back to Dallas or Austin. I was told in my home state that my non-union status would not play well outside our state and I did find an awkwardness at times - never by our fellow TOYs. Some of the places you have spoken at and the connections you have made would be unavailable to me or other non-union teachers. To not be able to speak to the House Education Committee without the approval of the NEA says it all. The fascinating thing is I am not anti-union, I happen to work in a district that works so well with our teachers that I never felt the need for representation.


Feel free to question, disagree, challenge, or make suggestions! I'm a big boy. I can take it.