A while back, I wrote about what I wish the Union had said. I was responding to the announcement of Maine’s new education strategic plan (which I’m excited about) and the press coverage of the Union, which seemed like mostly they were poo-pooing the plan. Unions can and do a ton of good, but I’m frustrated with that public image that seems to say “Don’t ask us to change. Don’t ask us to be held accountable. And don’t you dare remove that teacher, even though she can’t do her job.” Some of that is the press and what they choose to focus on, and some of it is political expediency (let’s blame teachers and the union for all our economic and educational woes). But some of it is how the Union crafts it’s own public messages and how they respond publicly to real challenges in in our schools.
So I was really pleased, then, when I saw them post this. A great message about how they “don’t just say ‘no,'” and the various ways they work to develop and support teachers and the profession.
I still wish that the public saw and heard more of this kind of message. I believe that this was a newsletter that just went to members (I don’t think I could even find a direct link to it on their website).
They do support developing quality teachers through things like the Professional Issues Conference on March 24th. (I’ll be presenting there on Motivating Students and on Auburn’s Literacy and Math iPad Initiative.) You’ve got to register by March 9, if you’d like to attend.
Supporting teachers working toward National Board Certification. Taking the lead on quality teacher evaluation and accountability systems through their Instruction and Professional Development Committee work. Their Professional Issues Conference. These are the kinds of things that the Union needs press on also.