Saturday, May 7, 2016

Thank you Teachers and Nurses

This week was National Teachers Appreciation Week.  It was also the start of National Nurses Week on Thursday.  I have always found it fitting that these two weeks overlap because I find the two roles so similar.

Teachers and other educators, Nurses and other healthcare workers, perform roles many of us could not, it takes a special kind of person.

Nobody gets into education or healthcare because they wish to become rich.  If they did, they would strive to be hedge fund managers.
They enter education or healthcare because their heart tells them to.  Maybe a teacher inspired them and they want to do the same, maybe a nurse comforted them or saved the life of someone they loved, and they want to do the same.  Whatever the reason, it comes from the heart, not the pocketbook.

They also face some of the same problems.  An underfunded education and healthcare system, monies that should go to their students and patients going to operators of charter schools and administrators of healthcare systems, and a lack of public respect.

Too often teachers are unjustly vilified.  They have dedicated themselves to making the lives of the next generation the best it can be, they should  be praised for this, not forced to administer tests that do nothing to truly evaluate their performance but rather diverts money that could be spent on classroom supplies to the pockets of the test maker companies.
Nurses continue to poll high on the favor-ability scale year after year, yet they face an incredible backlash when they try to gain workers rights so they can speak freely and advocate for their patients, and they face daily workplace violence issues that scars many of them emotionally or physically.

This week, across the country, including in New Britain, West Haven, and Danbury Connecticut, educators, students, and parents held "walk-ins, where they gathered outside of schools and all walked in together in a show of solidarity and a demand that public schools be fully funded.  It was yet another examples of our teachers dedication to their students and their vocation.

Last night I was honored to attend the New Britain Federation of Teachers 70th anniversary and this Wednesday I will attend the 5th anniversary celebration of the Backus Federation of Nurses.
Both events celebrate the dedication of the teachers and nurses of these two AFT Connecticut Locals, but they also celebrate the dedication of all educators and healthcare workers.

Thank you for all you do.

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