Opinion
Education Opinion

Free to Be Me

By John Wilson — November 09, 2011 2 min read

I woke up at my usual 5:00 A.M. on September 1st and realized that my life had changed. No longer did I have to drive that mile down 16th Street to the National Education Association (NEA) headquarters for my usual 10-12 hour day. No longer did I have to be available 24/7 to deal with the latest attack on my profession. No longer did I have to manage the stress of being responsible for 555 of the greatest employees or 3.2 million of the best members in the world who, on any given day, could turn my office into a drama department. I was retired. I was free--free to be me!

Today, I am honored to be a part of the blogging community to share my experiences, my ideas, and my rants and raves. As a member of the teaching profession for over 40 years, and a practicing classroom teacher for 23 of those years, I join ranks with those who honor and respect the teaching profession. I expect every person who deems to call himself or herself a teacher to be ethical, highly qualified, high performing as well as give unconditional support and love to every child they teach.

Beyond my commitment to teachers and education support professionals, I have been a child advocate. I am distressed with the growing poverty rate of our children. I have spent my entire adult life advocating and developing programs that assure poor children will stay in school, have access to quality health care, and be provided the basic necessities of food, clothing, and love. Expect me to have a lot to say about how we treat children, and I will not hesitate to take on the bureaucracy and the policymakers that drag their feet to the detriment of our children.

Finally, I know more about the NEA than most of those who write commentaries based on folk lore, political diatribe, and sometimes just plain untruths. I always get a chuckle out of those who would write about the NEA and yet never bother to call, text, tweet, or email anyone at the NEA to confirm their facts or challenge their opinions. So often, they get it wrong.

I have been a member of the NEA since 1966, when I was a student at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC. I have served on their highest level governing body, and I have served as their highest ranking staff member, executive director. I know the good people at the NEA, and I intend to challenge them to use their power for good teaching, the best interests of our students, and unifying all supporters of public education.

I am excited about launching this blog. I encourage you to share your comments with me as well as information and ideas for this blog. I am unleashing my best, and I invite you to unleash yours.

The opinions expressed in John Wilson Unleashed are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

Events

Student Well-Being Webinar Boosting Teacher and Student Motivation During the Pandemic: What It Takes
Join Alyson Klein and her expert guests for practical tips and discussion on how to keep students and teachers motivated as the pandemic drags on.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Holistic Approach to Social-Emotional Learning
Register to learn about the components and benefits of holistically implemented SEL.
Content provided by Committee for Children
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
How Principals Can Support Student Well-Being During COVID
Join this webinar for tips on how to support and prioritize student health and well-being during COVID.
Content provided by Unruly Studios

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Washington Data Processing Representative - (WAVA)
Tacoma, Washington, United States
K12 Inc.
Software Engineer
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association
Proposal Writer
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association
CCLC Program Site Director
Thornton, CO, US
Adams 12 Five Star Schools

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: February 3, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: January 20, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: January 13, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read