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President Melanie Hameed: Nevertheless

And so it begins. The gradual decline of summer and our march towards the beginning of the new school year. The days have already begun to grow shorter, school supply commercials and materials have popped up on store shelves and on the television, and the attack on public education continues. I have read articles on the new bill that allows school districts to arm their teachers and certain states that will license persons who have served in the military to teach school. No matter how many years we serve in this field of education, it never ceases to amaze me how people, who know nothing about this profession, insist on making policy that impacts this profession. No one has offered to arm us with the resources we most need, i.e., time, books, paper, and the like. No one has offered to take things off our plates instead of adding to them. This doesn’t happen in the field of medicine—which couldn’t exist without our profession. This doesn’t happen in the field of law—which couldn’t exist without our profession. When did the field of education, which fuels all other fields regardless of the discipline, become the stepchild of societal acceptance?

Nevertheless, in the upcoming weeks, we will get ourselves and our districts ready to take on another year of learning, another year of transportation, another year of feeding students’ minds and bodies. We will adjust to whatever new curriculum is being introduced, and we will do it with the confidence that makes it our own. We will learn new routes and what every student who boards our buses needs. We will prepare meals that will be both satisfying and nutritious. We will do all of these things because we know that we are entrusted with the building of our communities, our schools, and our nation. We know that the journey of students is much like that of a young plant. We are the gardeners who must take them through each stage of growth, regardless of what prickly, thorny obstacles may present themselves. We must take our students from budding to blooming to bursting. We do this because we know it has to be done. We do this because we are the chosen. We do this because we are educators!

So, in these last few weeks of transitioning and prepping and preparing, do not forget that, without you at your very best, nothing can go forward. It is important that we learn to put ourselves first before we attempt to take on anything outside of ourselves. Go outside and enjoy the beautiful sun and sunsets. Go sit by a body of water and let the peace wash over you. Make some memories that will surely keep you focused in the months to come. Nothing can be impacted if we are not well-rested. Nothing can be impacted if we are not sharp. Nothing can grow in this garden if the gardener is not at his or her peak. So, colleagues and friends, do not grow weary in your well-doing. Rest and then suit up as we go into battle for ourselves, our colleagues, and our students whom we service. I wish you a grand and successful school year.


By Melanie Hameed, NEOEA President

Published in our Fall edition of News & Views

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