Thanksgiving is my all-time favorite holiday; the food, friends and family -not necessarily in that order- and the opportunity to express how thankful I am for the blessings in my life! My list starts this year as always, with being thankful for my family: my two wonderful sons, who never cease to amaze me with their compassion, determination and resilience, my mom who has always been my biggest champion and my extended family to whom I grow closer to each year.
I am thankful for my job as a teacher for thirty-one years on Long Island, a community as diverse as any place in the world today. Our community continues to learn from one another and demonstrates daily how different people and cultures can live together and respect each other’s differences. A lesson the world could learn from us.
I am thankful for the opportunity to lead my local union in Hicksville. A union that is stronger today in our reputation as partners with parents in the education of children and collaborators with our district leaders to shape the future of programs and policy in our schools. I am thankful that we are still able to say we work in a state that respects a union’s right to collectively bargain on behalf of members and maintain the hard fought for benefits of its selfless membership.
I am thankful that even through the trials and tribulations of APPR, Common Core and High Stakes Testing, we are connected with our union brothers and sisters across the state in our fight to preserve public education and improve the standing of our profession. I am thankful for my fellow union officers here on Long Island and across the region, state and country who share in my passion and fight every day for justice and equality for all.
I am thankful to all of you, for relationships that add purpose, levity and even excitement to every day and for your friendships that mean more to me than you could probably imagine. I wish that this holiday brings to you, your families and to your friends, the opportunity to give thanks for all of your blessings and for the freedoms and rights we will continue to fight to preserve and improve upon.
So on behalf of myself and all of us here at Long Island Teachers.org, have a wonderful Thanksgiving.