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Smart List: 60 People Shaping the Future of K-12 Education
6 Replies to “Teachers And Legal”
Several years ago when I was fresh out of college, I listened to my college adviser and I joined the teachers’ union. I was drawn to the fact that the union would provide me all the legal assistance I would need if I ever had allegations against me. After 7 years in the field of education, I learned that it was not a must to have membership in the union. However, it reaped its benefits, such as discounts on travel, hotels, etc… I believe I kept my membership current because of the perks vs. the knowledge of “knowing” I had a legal team standing in my corner. Representatives for the teachers’ union are misleading. Like other salespersons, they are giving you the highlights of what their organization has to offer.
I recently joined AFT because I was asked by one of its representatives and it was required for me join a professional organization by one of the classes that I was enrolled in at the time. I must admit, I was intrigued by the perks and discounts of AFT, especially since “teachers aren’t millionaires” but I also like the fact that I legal council “ready” to aid me in resolving a situation if needed. I did not and have not read the fine print as it relates to AFT and representing council, but I can’t believe that services will ultimately be defined by money and that it is the determining factor to adequate services. Thanks for the “eye-opener”.
This has interested me immensely. I teach in the Department of Juvenile Justice. To my knowledge a union does not exist for educators, but there are so many legal hurdles that come our way. I do not necessarily feel secure that my job can be protected. What is the chain of command I have to go through to get the wheels in motion. I love my career, but I would also like to have some security.
I have been a member of the NEA for many many years. And never had the need to use their resources. Until, a principal, attacked my teaching ability. I called the NEA after many meetings that were unproductive. I was amazed at their cooperation and attentinvess to my situation. Matter of fact the state department was brought in and my teaching ability was not at risk it was in fact the principal that got a coach. As fate would have it, my students scored higher than the school district
Good teachers depend on tenure every day. Our responsibility is to our students. Without tenure, we can’t effectively speak truth to power. Sure, individual teachers would place their honest appraisal of what is right for kids above their career. But, in union there is strength. Without tenure, we hang separately.
Now that women are going into all fields, I believe it will become extremely difficult to recruit and retain qualified teachers for k-12 positions. When that happens, teachers’ unions will become much more powerful than they are now. My guess is that they will morph into the professional associations that they were originally intended to be and will be on a par with the American Medical Association and the American Bar Association. When this happens, teachers will make most decisions regarding their profession. I hope I live to see it.
Teachers are under attack right now, but they still have this ace in the hole: they are the people who elect to protect and teach the nation’s children. In the end, the public will side with the people who are willing to do the job.