Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Never Underestimate Your Ability to Get the Message Out

The following came to us from Julian Smith, an Indiana Teacher...
I share this little anecdote to put an exclamation mark on a point.

I took my son Brooks to a walkin clinic yesterday to get a strep test. While we were waiting on the results, the nurse practioner commented, "So you say you're a teacher?"

I responded, "No, I didn't say, but yes I am."

She continues, "So what did you think of the election?"

Says I, "Well, if you're referring to the Glenda Ritz race, and her beating Tony Bennett, I'm still simply ecstatic. How do you feel about it?"

Then she drops the bomb on me. She says, "I'm a Republican, but I voted for Ritz." She then ask me, "Didn't you write a couple letters to the newspaper?"

I tell her, "Yes in fact I did, but how did you remember my name and connect it to a random guy coming through this clinic? "

Her reply was simply, "I read a lot."

She then went on to tell me if it weren't for the letters in the paper and all the talk on Facebook, she would have voted for Bennett as she had no other way to get informed. She says, "He sure had some good ads, but when I read what teachers had to say about him and his brand of reform, I realized he must be a pretty slick operator." She went on to say, "He sure did an effective job of making it look like it was all for kids, but the more I read, the more I suspected it was cover for his effort to privatize public schools."

At that point, once I got my jaw picked up from the floor, I told her she should consider being a detective because she possessed some formidable powers of intuition to get all that from reading a few letters in the paper and some post on Facebook:-)

...and here's the reality. There must have been nearly a million other nonteacher voters that made their decision the same way. They heard the voices and concerns of thousands of teachers, and they placed their confidence in teacher assessment rather than a ficticious slick glitzy campaign ad based on fantasy. This fact is incredibly uplifting, encouraging, and empowering.

So, now we have another duty and responsibility, as if you need more! Now, we must keep talking, and keep telling the story, and informing those that entrusted their votes to our judgement. We can not and must not retreat to the seeming security of our classrooms, close the door, and bear the brunt of the Republican bellicose bullies. Silence is no longer an option.

Here's the point. Never underestimate your ability to get the message out. It will resonate with someone. It doesn't cost anything to write a letter or speak a few words, except the investment of a tiny bit of time. When they are published or spoken, people take note. And when exposed to truth, many will be influenced to come to the aid of our common cause with their votes and to advocate for children and our public schools with their voices.

Julian Smith
President JCCTA
Units 3/F,G and H

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