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February 20, 2012

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Ok, I did it (at least something): I have emailed my reps and senator and will be following up with calls regarding the NBCT incentive pay this week. As for the health care bill...well I read the full bill. As I read it, its aim is to lower and equalize our out-of-pocket expenses (so those of us with dependents aren't carrying everyone else) and provide us greater pooling power. While there was no specific language about vision, dental was named and included. It also provides for bargaining for the best possible plan/rate as a state-wide pool rather than district by district. Now a plan that sounds good and full of positive intent on paper doesn't necessarily work out that way in reality...Still, I am uncomfortable with the fear-based language coming from from my local and other sources.

Mark, thank you. This is so important. I rationalize my low-level involvement by telling myself that those actively involved in political leadership have the passion, the gift, and enjoy it. Right. Reading your post makes me realize that these are just excuses I concoct for myself so that I can rely on people like you to do this work for me. I feel shame about this, but hope that I let this shame galvanize much needed action. Thank you for your passion, contribution, inspiration that helps us all.

Don't wait until next session! If they don't hear from us this session, immediately, we will see some serious changes that are quite unpalatable and go beyond the concerns of "whining teachers" as one rep (not from my district) has called us.

Thank you for the inspiration and shot of confidence. After spending my professional life up to this point teaching citizenship, it's time I practice what I preach. I'm ready join you next legisilative season!

Update: In the end, about 80 NBCTs came to Olympia on the 20th... this is good, but I think it is important that we continue to communicate.

Bravo Mark!

Thank you for taking time out of your holiday to join the game which is playing out in Olympia. It's easy to sit on the sidelines, make fun of the players, complain about the rules, and belittle the officials.

But you jumped in with both feet and when you reflect you will be pleased to know you were part of something which mattered. You stepped into an unfamiliar arena and grew from what the experience taught you.

I appreciate you taking a stand for the students of Washington and taking a risk by journeying into the unknown.

As for being nervous, it reminds me of the quote from Maggie Kuhn which hangs in my office, "Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes."

Thanks for lifting your voice today and my hope is that your experience will encourage others to add their voices to the chorus.

Great job, Mark. I'm glad you brought your voice to the policymakers. The direct voice of teachers is so seldom heard in Olympia.

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