Arizona Education Association

Fall 2017

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M y favorite part of being AEA president is the opportunity to visit with members and learn how their year is going. It's enlightening to hear members tell stories about their students, their colleagues, their successes, and yes, even their challenges. I recently listened to a small group of teachers tell me about the challenges of getting through all their lessons before the end of the first nine weeks. This was important, they added, because they would need to set aside a few days to administer the quarterly assessments. One in the group said she could either take the time to ensure all her students had learned the material or maintain the brisk pace of lessons required to meet the district's testing deadline. But with a class of over 30 elementary students, it was very challenging to do both. Not all conversations end with a solution, but they do allow us to support one another and often lead to deeper understanding. During our wide-ranging talk, it was easy to see that the members liked that someone was listening and valuing what they had to say. Too often we don't take time for these important, professional conversations and people are left feeling isolated or overwhelmed in their work. This can manifest itself in people leaving our professions because they do not feel supported, compensated, or respected. It has always been our responsibility to be the bridge to move our colleagues from where they are – struggling alone – to where they need to be – working alongside us. Working for respect. Working for more support for our schools. Working for more opportunities for success for ALL of our students. It is up to each of us to bring our colleagues into our fight for better schools by asking them to join the AEA. I am confident they will join, but only after one of us listens to them, connects with them, and shows them the way forward, together. Building deeper relationships with our colleagues is how we build stronger local associations and a stronger AEA. 4 ADVOCATE | FALL 2017 IN SOLIDARITY by Joe Thomas AEA OFFICERS Joe Thomas President Marisol Garcia Vice President Angela Philpot Treasurer AEA STAFF Mark J. Simons Executive Director Sheenae Shannon Editor Roxanne Rash Graphic Design Advertising The AEA Advocate is published by the Arizona Education Association, 345 East Palm Lane, Phoenix, Arizona 85004-1532. Phone: 602- 264-1774 or 800-352-5411 Fax: 602-240-6887. Email: AEA's website may be found at Permission to reprint any material originating with this publication is granted provided that credit is given to the AEA Advocate. The AEA Advocate (ISSN 0194-8849) is published in Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer for $3.50 per year by the Arizona Education Association, 345 East Palm Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85004-1532. Periodicals postage paid at Phoenix, Arizona. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the AEA Advocate, 345 East Palm Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85004-1532. Moving? Please let us know before you go. Simply clip your mailing label from the back of the Advocate and send it along with your new address to: AEA Advocate 345 East Palm Lane Phoenix, Arizona 85004-1532 - 9 n Joseph H. Thomas, President Arizona Education Association

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