thorn

Shunned. The Shame of My Teachers Union – A Good Friday Reflection


Day 1 of Spring Break. I am up bright and early on this beautiful Good Friday morning.

The sun is shining over my little piece of Florida. We say tomorrow will always be a better day. Today, it came true.

I am thankful to be the mom of two wonderful daughters, raised among a family that stretches far and wide. I am thankful for my hardworking husband who never fails to be there for us. I am thankful to live in a caring, compassionate community of citizens.

Good Friday is a good day to remember what we are thankful for. After all, Jesus is a good ol’ hero of mine. He fought for what was right. He was persecuted. He would not be held down…

I’m with him.

I’ve been shunned by my teachers union, all the way to the top.

Make no mistake. Once, they loved me. I joined, I rallied, I organized, I affected change. But, then I witnessed, and then I whistled …

I blew the whistle. Hard.

I blew the whistle on election violations. I blew the whistle on unfounded, unvetted, early endorsements. I blew the whistle on backdoor deals. I did what you are never supposed to do – I blew the whistle on union leadership.

I blew hard. And, they buried me.

I am the shame of my union.

I am ashamed of my union.

I’m not with leadership. I’m not with Hillary.

I’m not with her. .

In my classroom, I have a saying written across the top of my board:

“Tomorrow is Always a Better Day.”

It is a daily reminder to keep on keeping on. It is a reminder to keep up the fight and to keep up the faith. I will do just that.

Will you?

I’m with you.

 

thorn

 

Day 2: NEA Rep Assembly BAT Blog #NEARA14 #NEABAT (With pictures)


On yet another beautiful Colorado day, thousands upon thousands of teachers and support personnel poured into the Denver Convention Center.

Today, our National Education Association kicked off our 2014 Representative Assembly with a fan fare of music, lights, and even remote control video cameras.

As, I entered the main assembly seating area, I quickly realized I had underestimated the amount of coffee that I would need that day.

Most of the morning seemed to be a tribute to Dennis Van Roekel, our retiring President. I have never met him, but I am pretty sure we have been in a few articles together, so I was curious as to his personality. On stage, he was lighthearted and funny during the tribute. His mother came up and spoke on his behalf. It was a precious moment.

During afternoon debate, DVR tightened up a little bit on the personality. Debate went fast and he rules a pretty strict parlimentary procedure. I must admit, as a first time delegate, I was a bit intimidated.

I never did find the needed coffee, but I did find Fred Klonsky, retired teacher, blogger, and one of my personal heroes. #EvenBetter

I did eventually get up and go to the microphone to speak on a new business item which involved art and core standards. My “comical” moment made EdWeek Blog:

“In one of the more comical moments of the convention so far, Bonnie Margolin, a self-proclaimed Badass Teacher, took the microphone to respond to that proposal. “I stood up in opposition initially because it says core standards, but I can see that it was written by teachers and educators so I’m rescinding my opposition,” she said. The BATs, as they call themselves, are vocal critics of the common-core standards. There were no other objections.”

Yup. That is me. Once a class clown, always a class clown.

Of course, I wasn’t just playing on the mic. Funny sells, people listen … My objection was to Common Core. If I wasn’t sleepy from an eventful day, I’d give you 10 reasons why Common Core is not what we want implemented.

If I wasn’t so tired, I’d find the notebook carrying the notes I jotted down today. I would quote DVR. I would go deeper into those words …

But, tonight, I need rest, so I leave you with these pictures and highlights from today !
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BAT Caucus worked hard through lunch !

Cereste Smith, co-founder of United Opt Out, and active BAT, delivered a powerful speech to our FL Caucus. 

Photo: Ceresta Smith,  co-founder of United Opt Out, and active BAT,  delivered a powerful speech to our FL Caucus.

“We are the only profession that has to steal items from home to be able to do our job.” – Earl Wiman, Candidate for reelection to the NEA Executive Committee

Photo: "We are the only profession that has to steal items from home to be able to do our job." - Earl Wiman,  Candidate for reelection to the NEA Executive Committee #NEA2014 #NEABAT

Until tomorrow and from the Colorado Rockies and Happy 4th of July !

#Peace
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