Sometimes in the day-to-day stress of our responsibilities, it’s hard to remember “the big picture” of why we’re doing what we’re doing. When phone calls, e-mails, grade reports and IEP deadlines fill the calendar, it’s hard to envision the lofty goals that we were striving to reach when we started the year. So now that the first semester is over, it’s a good time to reflect on our work and on Missouri NEA’s vision for the future.
As an association, we began the process of re-examining our vision, mission and values last year. We’ve spoken with hundreds of our members and asked them why they believe MNEA exists, what we do that no other organization does, words that come to mind when thinking of MNEA, and their hopes and dreams for our public schools and association.
To hear our members’ voices, we’ve traveled to local meetings and the statewide representative assembly. We’ve met with ESP members, retired members and student members, asking them the same questions about our organization. As we worked to update the vision, mission and values statements of the organization, we realized that one voice was left out of this discussion—the voices of our beginning teachers who will be the future of the public school workforce, the future of the profession and who, along with our ESP, retired and student members, will be the future of our association.
Mission work in progress
I am very interested in your thoughts on what we have developed to date on our vision, mission and values. Nothing is finalized at this point, but here is what we are working with:
Keeping the promise of a quality public education by creating a great public school for every child
(Option #1) “Missouri NEA’s mission is to work to ensure that the education of our students and the working environments of our members are of the highest quality.”
(Option #2) “Missouri NEA’s mission is to promote, advance and protect public education, the education profession, and the rights and interests of its members.”
Values that shape our actions…
5. Fairness - a just society
7. Dignity and respect for all
It’s critical that we hear from members new to the education profession. With the help of MNEA board members, we’re traveling across the state to hold meetings with new teachers and ask them questions about why they became teachers, why they joined a professional organization, what a professional organization needs to offer them and what their hopes and aspirations are for the future of public education. We’re excited about the opportunity to listen and learn from those who will shape the future of public education and our association. Together, we will all continue to make MNEA “something better.”
Our goal is to finalize our vision, mission and values by the Spring R.A. in April. We have much work to do in continuing to survey our members about whether the proposed vision, mission and values are truly reflective of our hopes, dreams, and beliefs if there’s more work to be done.
I am interested in your thoughts about the work we’re doing and your vision for our association.
Please e-mail me at Chris.Guinther@mnea.org to share your ideas and reflections on your association.
Thank you in advance for your thoughts, and thanks for the work you do every day to make our public schools great for every child!
by Chris Guinther, MNEA president
sb, winter '09