Once I become a teacher I will be faced with the difficult decision of deciding which organization if any I want to be a part of. There are two major organizations, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, that were designed to protect teachers and improve working conditions. Deciding whether or not to join these organizations proves to be a difficult decision. These organizations help to improve teachers salaries and other working conditions using different strategies like organizing strikes and get the teachers to group together to bargain for certain changes. Some people argue that these organizations are more hurtful then helpful, and they think that these organizations are only interested on improving salaries. People who are against these organizations say that they are more concerned about what is good for the students and these organizations do nothing for the students. I started thinking about which side I was on and whether or not I would want to be a part of either of these organizations.
The National Education Association is the largest professional and employee organization in the nation and has close to 3 million members. This leads me to believe that what they are doing is very beneficial and could be something I would be interested in becoming a part of. The National Education Association gives members free publications that will keep me up to date on the newest research in the Educational field. They also provided free legal services, which as a Physical Education Teacher could come in handy if anyone was ever to get injured in one of my classes. Being able to have free legal services is a very good way to protect myself and my job and is very important to have in the future. This association also gives members a chance to be trained in different areas like technology and academic freedom. Bring technology into the classroom is something that is very important and is something that would be nice to have help with. I have never been technology savvy and it would be great to have help so I could incorporate the most up to date methods in my classes. The National Education Association does work to get teachers better salaries and working conditions but they also work to give teachers opportunities to expand their education and stay up to date. I think that were some people think this organizations focuses too much on the teachers and not the children in the long run it helps both. Teachers need to be able to feel secure in their jobs so they can teach in a way that works for them and their students. If teachers are consistently worried about losing their job or not being able to pay their bills they will not be able to teach to the best of their ability. I think that this organization would benefit me in the future and after some more research I may end up joining once I get a job as a physical educator.
The American Federation of Teachers is a smaller organization but has also done some very important things for teachers. The American Federation of Teachers has always fought for what is right and to make schools better. They were the first to back desegregation of schools even though it was not the most popular thing to do. Member of this organization make the hard decisions and do what is right no matter what. The leaders of this group fight for teachers even if it means going to jail for their beliefs. Being part of a group that is so passionate about their jobs and doing what is right is something that would be very beneficial for me. By surrounding myself with people who are just as passionate about teaching is something that will make me a better teacher. The American Federation of Teachers provides teachers with a multitude of resources that will help to make them a better teacher. I think that both of these organizations have benefits and I can see myself joining one in the future. I think that although critics claim these organizations are hurting schools I have to disagree. I think these organizations do the best they can to make teachers better. Critics also argue that these organizations protect incompetent teachers. I would not be surprised if this has happened once or twice but they are also giving these teachers resources and opportunities to turn it around. I think that these organizations are more helpful then hurtful and something that is important for teachers to have.