What does your union mean to you? Glastonbury High School science teacher and Connecticut Teacher of the Year finalist Marquis Johnson shares his Because of Our Union story below.
Teachers come into this profession because we love making a difference. We have a passion for educating and helping young people.
During my time as Teacher of the Year, I talked with a lot of fellow educators about why we entered the field, but in the years since, we’ve seen a deepening teacher shortage. Societal influences that demonize our profession have made it increasingly challenging to do our work. Many excellent educators, both newcomers and experienced veterans, have made the difficult decision to take their talents and energy elsewhere—where they know they will be respected and rewarded.
My colleagues and I need to be able to focus on education, pedagogy, making connections with the children in our classrooms—all those rich things we understand lead to better outcomes for our students. To that end, the unions that support us are more important than ever. They have our backs, they advocate for us behind the scenes, they take up the slack, and they push for strong protections and sound education policy so that we can concentrate our attention where it matters most: on our students and their future.