he Greek philosopher Heraclitus wrote, “the only constant is change.” No year better reaffirms that statement than 2020, a wild year that has pushed each of us to our limits of patience, resilience and creativity.
With all the intense, painful, bizarre and, yes, joyful things that have happened this year, I think that you, like me, are regarding the arrival of December with some sense of relief. We know that these intense changes are not tied to a traditional calendar, but I think most of us will celebrate on January 1, 2021, in a way that we have rarely, if ever, done before!
But here we are, the last month of the year. As winter overtakes New Jersey, we traditionally have been in the habit of reexamining our lives to consider what is working and what we’d like to change.
There is no denying that change is difficult, especially in a year when so much that we’d like to change seems beyond anyone’s control. But I believe we are headed toward a brighter future for having gone through a year like this one.
One thing we know for sure: we must be united as colleagues and community members in order to ride out this intense time and arrive at a better tomorrow for ourselves, our families and the students and communities we serve.
I am eternally hopeful that the work we do today will pay off in the end. We have already seen that come to pass. In 2020, after years of hard work, lobbying, communicating, and demonstrating, we achieved Ch. 78 relief for all members and Job Justice for educational support professionals. At the same time, we were named the best in the nation for public education for the second year in a row by Education Week.
I’m proud of the work that we are doing together and our accomplishments. It has taken years of hard work and dedication, and navigating intense periods of change, but we have stood together and we have come out ahead. I am inspired by that, and I believe that better days lie ahead for each of us, our students and our world.
@Marie.Blistan: OUR NJEA CONVENTION keynote guest, Ms. Ruby Bridges, shared her story as a 6-year-old child in 1960 who forced integration in Louisiana after Brown vs BOE in 1954. I am an educator, a parent, grandparent, and activist, and her experiences spoke to our minds, our consciences, our very souls of humanity. She is an educator’s educator, and it was an honor to meet, speak, and LEARN from her!
On Nov. 6, Marie Blistan shared her thoughts on Ruby Bridges’ inspirational keynote address at this year’s virtual NJEA Convention. With the post, Blistan shared a photo of the keynote address, which featured a photo of her and Bridges discussing the important role that educators play in fighting for racial justice.
Sean M. Spiller
@SpillerforNJEA: Congratulations Mr. President-elect & Madam Vice President-elect.
On Nov. 7, Sean M. Spiller celebrated the election of NJEA/NEA-endorsed candidates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their election to president and vice president of the United States. Along with the text above, Spiller shared an image of the two newly elected national leaders, who defeated President Donald Trump on a historic Election Day that was the culmination of an election season.
@Steve BeattyNJEA: Have to work it to the finish and leave no votes uncounted! Our collective futures are at stake and we must get all of our New Jersey Education Association, member-endorsed candidates elected!! Congressman Andy Kim is someone who has earned our trust and unequivocal support! Proud to be to out again working for his campaign along with Governor Phil Murphy and fellow NJEA members and local leaders, Tamara Beatty, Kia Collier, and Christine Hewitt as well as Burlington County Education Association President, Anthony Rizzo! #gotv until there is are no more V to GO!
On Nov. 3, Steve Beatty spent Election Day working with NJEA members to get out the vote for NJEA-endorsed candidate, Congressman Andy Kim, who went on to win reelection in Congressional District 3. Beatty shared photos of himself with NJEA members and Gov. Murphy as they joined Kim for an Election Day rally.
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