Monday, July 6, 2009

July 5, 2009

Two New Business Items (NBIs) deepened my union convictions (NBI 34) and church-state separation stance (NBI 35). As an active member of Minnesota State University Mankato’s Education Minnesota Student Program (EMSP), NBI 34 complimented EMSP’s commitment to membership recruitment. As one delegate mentioned on the RA floor, some regions in the United States will face significant teacher shortages by 2015. To fill this shortage, EMSP is committed to recruiting energetic educators and engaging them in professional growth.

NBI 35, the second of two NBIs discussed here, provides a template for the aforementioned professional growth. As an aspiring high school social studies teacher, my support for the separation of church and state was reinforced during NBI 35’s RA floor debate. NBI 35 aimed to prohibit the RA’s exhibit hall from promoting non-scientific concepts of creation science, creationism, or intelligent design. Although NBI 35 failed, it produced a healthy debate and a divided Minnesota Caucus.

In another example of union involvement, Tracy and I collaborated with Minnesota’s state contacts to Texas, Alaska, and South Carolina. In groups of four, Tracy, Minnesota’s respective state contact, the other state’s respective contact, and I discussed NBI 84—a Minnesota-initiated NBI to examine the feasibility of honoring the current year state affiliate NEA Teacher of Excellence at the NEA RA. In other words, by promoting this award, the NEA Teacher of Excellence might gain stage recognition at the RA. Elevating this award to NEA Teacher of the Year Award will motivate more NEA teachers to become involved in their local unions.

Thank you Education Minnesota Vice President Paul Mueller for mobilizing students for NBI 84.

Finally, Tracy and I held Al Franken posters behind Education Minnesota President Tom Dooher during his pep rally celebrating Al Franken’s Senate seating. We both enjoyed our three minutes of fame!

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