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NEA RA: Diary of a first-time delegate - Day 5

The Last RA By Reagan Duncan

I entered the convention center width heavy heart,  knowing that this was the last day. Today I'd have to say goodbye to new friends I'd made, hoping that I would get to see them again, but not really knowing if I would. I trudged slowly to my section, looking for the familiar blue seat cover labeled Minnesota(my state contact).

I can't emphasize enough what an eye opening and just plain fantastic learning experience it has been. Dennis Van Roekel begins the meeting and I am hit width the realization that this is it! This enormous body representing over 3 million members has convened to pass resolutions and New Business Items (NBI) and make amendments that can help change the face of education at a national level. I feel empowered and have a renewed sense of hope for education.

I made my way to the Minnesota section for the last time, delivered my state's info, shared hugs and well wishes, hoping we'd be paired again next year.

Though saddened by these goodbyes, I knew the day would be a great one. Not only was the the National Teacher of the Year (from California no less!) going to speak, but President Obama himself had scheduled a call width us!

The debate over NBIs began to fly by. I am so very proud to be a California delegate, the state that puts in the majority of NBIs. The passion of our delegation is demonstrated every day as we defend the rights of our disenfranchised students. We stand up and ask all NEA delegates to take consideration of issues such as anti-gay bullying, underhanded segregation, discrimination based on language, dialect, race or sexual orientation. The importance of issues facing our students and profession are at the forefront of all dialogue. Some business items are passed, some are not. This is the beauty of democracy. Each individual has a voice and I am living it!

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