Whenever I heard somebody say "WOW, you learn something new everyday" I thought to myself do we really learn something new everyday? On this date I declared that I truly do learn something new everyday! It's important for all physical educators to know all there is about the job and that includes what organizations are associated with it. The National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) are two organizations that all physical educators and/or all future physical educators should be familiar with. These two organizations work to improve the salaries and the working conditions of teachers. In your first few years as a teacher, you will find yourself without the protection of tenure. Teacher associations like the NEA and AFT can help by providing you with collegial support, opportunities for professional growth, and the security that one derives from participating in a large influential group. Now I'm sure you're head is probably spinning from all the information you're learning like mine was the first time I read it. I felt a little overwhelmed because I'm not even done learning all there is about the teaching part of a the job and now I have to worry about once I get the job all the behind the scenes stuff! But after reading the benefits of both organizations I feel if I had to choose right now I know which one I would choose.
The NEA is the largest professional and employee organization in the nation. If you join the NEA, you receive free legal services and training opportunities on issues from technology to academic freedom. The NEA is very political in the sense that it works to elect pro-education candidates and to promote legislation that benefits both teachers and students. I'm not a very political person, although I do find debates and issues interesting. I don't feel as of now I know too much about academic freedom or what's involved with that topic so that wouldn't benefit me. So let's take a look at what the AFT brings to the table...
The AFT is exclusively of teachers, by teachers, for teachers! This organization takes a leadership role in education reform. It supports national standards for teachers, charter schools and induction programs. I personally like the idea of teachers, by teachers, for teachers! I feel as though the NEA is just a major corporation and the more people that are in that organization the better for them. With the NEA I also feel as though I would just be another number to them, where as with the AFT I would be a much smaller number because it's a much smaller group.
Overall after reading this I felt as though I had a better understanding of what an educational organization is and how it benefits us as teachers. I still feel as though I need to do more reading and more research to truly find an organization that fits my particular needs once I get into the profession and have my own job! I find it's just crazy the amount of things teachers have to do as far as their job goes. Anybody who says teaching is probably not a teacher because it's a lot of hard work. As I read this I found myself asking questions such as "Why do I need to be involved with one of these groups?" I understand it's for salaries and working conditions but shouldn't that all be settled in some kind of contract or law by the state, at least for working conditions? "Aren't I protected by the school district I will work for?"These are questions I hope to find the answer to while I'm a student here at SUNY Cortland. I also hope this blog post finds it's way onto other future physical educators computer screens and gives them some helpful information that they can use for the future. It always helps to use the internet to find out more about these types of organizations because there are many more out there than the two I just mentioned.
*I highly recommend visiting the website www.inspiringteachers.com just click the link and it will send you to the sight.