We are all looking forward to a great school year in 2021-2022. The young minds that will return to school this fall will be more ready to learn than ever before. Not coincidentally, Idaho’s parents and guardians will also be more ready than ever for those young minds to return to school!
The untapped potential of Idaho’s students is just waiting for a great educator (like you!) to help open a world of learning, discovery and confidence that comes with knowledge. Prior to today, you have undeniably been a great force for good in the lives of these students–and you will be that person again! Another year is just beginning and there is a sense of limitless potential that comes with the back-to-school season. Welcoming students on the first day of school and seeing their excitement, nervousness, and eagerness to learn is an incredible reminder of why we are educators. It’s a much-needed dose of wonderful and there is something special there. And you get to be a part of it!
So today we say to you: “Let’s celebrate!” There is still so much good to be had as an educator in Idaho. There are still so many compelling reasons to be a part of this great work. There is still so much joy within our schools.
We can all agree that the politics of the last school year were unfortunate. The most unfortunate thing was that it made its way into our schools where the political battles were fought, sometimes quite passionately. As educators we were often sidelined as the dogmatic shouting (and little-to-no listening) raged on. It must be acknowledged that this happened to us, not by us. We cannot simply pretend it did not happen. But that does not mean it can define us! No! The politicians do not have that power over us. We will steadfastly refuse to give them that authority. Your love of education and the promise of the back-to-school season will not and must not be sacrificed to political theater!
So, let us defiantly celebrate education as we start this new school year. Let us show the talking heads and self-serving politicians that Idaho is better than that. The power that each of you have as an educator is something formidable and awesome. It will not be diminished or tarnished if you chose to continue to be strong and passionate about what you do. The Idaho Education Association is here to help continue the mission of great public schools. The kind of schools that our students deserve. You can, together with the backing of YOUR professional association, not only withstand the storms that continue to blow, but do so with your head held high and a smile on your face. Education is (still) a good place to be!
So, let’s celebrate!
Layne McInelly, President
Paul Stark, Executive Director