I have learned to almost never say never, but when I am asked about my career path I never say politics. My knowledge of policy-making is limited to what I learned in school and what I hear on the news. I am an educator, a proud elementary principal. I am intimidated by the world of legislation and legislators. The ducks we talk about at Quincy Elementary are not lame at all. Appropriation of lego guys has happened at our school but appropriation of funds is not something I am familiar with.
That is all about to change.
I have served on the board of directors for the Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association (MEMSPA) for the past three years. I love working with these amazing school leaders from across the state. My role on the board has changed a bit and I am now the State and Federal Relations Co-Coordinator with David Simpson. I did not take on this role because I love politics. I took on this role because I love kids and educators, and it is time for us to be bold and be heard.
I am a regular educator just like you and I am nervous to dive into this work. I seriously considered veering from this path daily for the past couple weeks because I feel like a dummy and because I am so intimidated. However, I can do hard things. I can do things that are waaaaaay outside my comfort zone, and I am committed to learning about the policies and politics that influence our daily work at schools. I am committed to representing our students and staff in our capital. I may shake in my boots as I go, but I am done complaining about educational legislation without taking action. I am jumping in with both feet to see what kind of influence we can have in Michigan and in our nation.
I am super thankful for the partnership of David and the knowledge and expertise he brings to the table. I am also thankful for the leadership and guidance of Paul Liabenow, the Executive Director of MEMSPA. I know I will be a better educator because of this work. I am a principal, I have a voice, and I am going to learn how to use it in the world of politics.
I may still use the word never when I am asked if I will ever go into politics, but I have learned that educators have an important role to play in the political world. Watch out Lansing and D.C., The Path to Serendipity will be knocking at your door!
David and I welcome all of you to join us on our mission to “Be bold. Be heard.” by posting the amazing and varied things you do as educators and tagging your legislators. We were inspired by the work of NAESP educational leaders across the country. In Michigan, we are using the hashtag #WeLeadMI in our posts. Learn more in the short video update below. We will be posting short video updates monthly as we work to take the mystery out of taking action for our kids.
Be bold. Be heard.
If not us, who?