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President Rob McFee: “NEOEA Strong”



Well, congratulations! We made it!

I know, we didn’t have a choice, time moves on whether we wish it to or not. I am reminded of that every time I count the candles on my birthday cake. But here we are at the end of the most bizarre year recorded in the history of public education. It is hard not to relish in the thought, “We did it, we got to June!!”

This year will always be remembered by terms such as “virtual learning,” “asynchronous days,” and “quarantine.” Conversations have been given extra fuel when we talk about the unfairness of school funding (technology) and the burden of mandatory state testing. The concept of the “learning gap” created by this pandemic will not even be really understood until sometime in the future. I never even knew what “Zoom” was, let alone “Zoom Fatigue!”

What did we do as educators? EVERYTHING! We adapted, we learned, we collaborated, and we did the best we could under circumstances that were not even close to ideal. What lessons did we learn? Hopefully more than just how to present a math lesson and engage students who are lying in bed watching TV while turning their Chromebook cameras on and off!

“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving; we get stronger and more resilient.” – Dr. Steve Maraboli

Hopefully we learned that educators have a voice. We have to speak up for the safety of our students and our own working conditions. Hopefully we learned how important it is for all communities to have access to Wi-Fi and technology so that ALL of our students can learn. Hopefully we learned to work collaboratively not only with our colleagues but also with our administrators. Hopefully we learned that in the worst of times, that is when our local associations are needed the most.

I know this summer most of us wish to just unwind and relax. Everyone has worked so hard and we all deserve a much-needed vacation. But I would encourage you to also keep in mind that the things we learned this year can help us go forward.

I would strongly encourage you to consider attending OEA’s Virtual Summer Leadership Academy this coming June 21‑22 (https://www.ohea.org/event/2021-summer-leadership-academy/). “The OEA Summer Leadership Academy is designed to help members at all levels of the association realize and develop skills and talents as leaders of their profession and their association while building relationships and organizing for power.” 

I would also encourage you to attend our virtual NEOEA Summer Leadership Conference, July 21-22. Final details are here in this issue. Keep an eye on your email or our newly-designed website (www.neoea.org) for more information on this fabulous event. It is not only a great way to empower your local leadership team, it is also a great way to meet and collaborate with leaders from other associations across NEOEA.

I hope to see you in person again very soon; until then, I hope to see you online at our NEOEA Summer Leadership!

United we are stronger,

Rob

Published in the Summer issue of News & VIews

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