Dean E. Vogel
At the February meeting of CTA’s State Council of Education, Dean E. Vogel was elected president of CTA. Vogel, a member of the Vacaville Teachers Association, is currently serving his second term as CTA vice president. His term as president begins June 26.
Although Vogel ran unopposed, a campaign statement was submitted by the candidate. This unedited statement was limited to 400 words. Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed are those of the candidate and not necessarily those of CTA.
The conditions of teaching and learning today are dreadful. Every day teachers are being asked to do more with less, even as expectations rise and opportunities for authentic roles in decision making decrease. Teachers are overworked, disrespected and discouraged daily, yet they continue to give even more, to be creative, to do what they know is right. They need their union to support and protect them when they do. Teachers are ready to fight back, but not alone. Teachers are ready to stand up in support of their students and their families. They need their union standing with them.
Teachers and educators who work with students every day are the people who know best how to meet their needs, not bureaucrats far removed from schools and classrooms. If you want to know how a child learns to read, ask a teacher, not a bureaucrat. If you want to know how to build positive interpersonal relationships, ask a counselor, not a politician. You wouldn’t hire a chef to build a rocket ship, and it doesn’t make sense to have an investment banker telling us how to teach reading.
We must take back our profession, our schools, and our right to shape the education of California’s children. And it had better be soon. To that end, the California Teachers Association must focus its effort not only at Sacramento but also into the classrooms and schools in every community. Too many people with no experience and less understanding of the dynamics of teaching and learning have bought their way into the offices of the power brokers and the policy makers.
The mission of the California Teachers Association is very clear, “…to protect and promote the well-being of its members; to improve the conditions of teaching and learning….” It’s time that every teacher not only reads that in CTA publications and on the website, but believes it, and holds it as a truth that empowers them to meet the serious challenges facing all of us.
The disconnection that teachers are feeling between their classrooms and CTA is real, and it’s CTA’s responsibility to do something about it. Teachers and educators are being asked to do more with less every day. CTA must ask the same of itself. As President, I will take this responsibility seriously. I look forward to standing with you as we take our profession back.