It’s that time of year. Time to stop and reflect. Time to take stock. Time to count the silver. Time to speechify and identify the state of THE UNION.
And, you may ask, what is the state of our union?
Reflection #1: T.G.F.U. Where, oh where, would teachers be without a union? I am a teacher. And, teachers just happen to be the union members catching the most flak these days. But, it is not just a union of teachers.
Reflection #2: Our union is a union of education professionals. Our union includes secretaries, bus drivers, librarians, para-educators, food service workers, psychologists, therapists, diagnosticians, technology specialists, custodians, nurses, and teachers of many different subjects–academics, skills/crafts/trades, the arts, physical education and health, languages–you name it, someone teaches it!
Reflection #3: Our union is united. We are whole. We are solid. We are together. We are allied. We are one. I am one with the union, and the union is me.
Sounds kind of zen. But, I believe it. Don’t laugh. I have always taken union membership very seriously. I know all of the old songs. I get chills when I hear Sam Latham lead his union members in singing “Solidarity forever–for the union makes us strong.” He knows all of the words to all of the verses.
Reflection #4: The past, the present, and the future–it all counts. Our strength comes from remembering where we have been and who has come before us, and all that they have accomplished. Strength comes from understanding the present: being alert and proactive, reacting and responding with appropriate measure and focus, and providing adequate and assertive leadership. Finally strength comes from remaining ready, willing, and able to move forward; to foster imagination and innovation; “to build relationships in order to move members towards greater unity and solidarity.”
Our union is strong. However, it can be stronger. I know what I will be doing to help make it stronger. What will you do?