MSEA Workshop on Advocacy

 

Yesterday I attended a retired teachers workshop in Annapolis, sponsored by the Maryland State Teachers Association. Most of the TABCO-R Committee members attended as we gave a presentation in the afternoon session. The morning began with a talk from Shelly Moore Krajacic. She currently is on the NEA Executive Committee, on leave from her teaching job in Wisconsin. She shared her experiences as a teacher in the wake of Gov. Scott Walker’s cuts and changes in education. This was a warning of what could happen in an environment that does not value public school education. Her story was not all doom and gloom as the communities of teachers, students and parents have become more engaged in protecting their schools. She made a comment that was particularly interesting. She referenced the movements of the 60s and how we Baby Boomers can help shape the current engagement. I thought about my childhood watching the anti-war marches, the civil rights marches, and women’s rights marches. My parents were staunch Republicans. My father was an army officer. But I saw their views change. I vividly recall the day MLK died and my father’s response in horror. I remember being angry with my mother who insisted in watching the Watergate hearings, swearing the whole time.  I inherited my parents commitment through action for a better society.

In the afternoon, Angela Leitzer, Committee Chairperson, did a wonderful job relating the inception and progress of TABCO-R. Retired educators from across the state attended as did the current President of the Garrett County Teachers Association. Todd Crenshaw from the NEA sat in the session. He is an Organizational Specialist and promised his services to support Maryland retirees. I left the workshop for my current teaching position at the US Naval Academy.

At the same hotel was the USNA Class of ’53. I stopped by, introduced myself and offered my piping services for any of their future activities. Most Midshipmen are graduates from public schools; something must be working.

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