It has been one of those weeks. You know the kind?! The kind with a schedule so jam-packed full that you wonder on Monday at dawn how you might make it to Friday at sunset?
This week was filled with responsibilities, activities, and life. To be clear and frank (although we never know who Frank actually is) – it was an incredible week on campus. It is Homecoming week! If you are part of the festivities, you know what we are talking about! If you remember the festivities from years gone by, you know what we are talking about! Homecoming is coming home. It is time to celebrate the past, present, and maybe even the future. Homecoming is about celebrating successes and reflecting on challenges…and having some fun!
Our homecoming week was especially fantastic because we had a special teacher candidate return to campus after being away for a year. Who is she and where has she been? She is Chelsey Herrig, and she is located in Washington D.C. serving as the National Education Association (NEA) Student Program Chair of NEA.
Ms. Herrig is entering her second year of the two-year limit in Washington, D.C. She is making us proud with her leadership endeavors. She is taking up the “Degrees Not Debt” campaign and bringing a level of awareness to the nation to improve the state for teacher candidates – future teachers – future NEA. The student program serves approximately 60,000 teacher candidates and the NEA serves approximately 3 million teachers.
When sharing about her adventures over the past year, Chelsey shared with our teacher candidates who attended her speech that attending one local EMSP meeting changed her life. She became a member, became engaged, became the local chapter President, and is now the Student Program Chair for NEA. She is quick to note that she is more than the face of NEA; she is the voice and action; she is active and engaged and ready to take on a good cause in the name of learners and teachers.
The Southwest Minnesota State University Education Minnesota Student Program (SMSU EMSP) chapter is still active on campus, and under new leadership, Wilson Ebner, chapter president, who helped organize Chelsey’s coming home event. The SMSU EMSP is involved in community events, including: Relay for Life, Scholastic Books Fair that raises funds and books for others, and reading to students in schools during special reading weeks such as Read across America. The student-driven programming provides teacher candidates with opportunities to focus on professional development, including resume building, networking, developing the teacher’s toolbox of strategies, and assessment frameworks.
Ok – so where are we going with this you may find your inner monologue questioning. What is the moral of the story?
Get involved and make “home” proud! It is up to you to make the world the place it needs to be. Oh – and have a blast at homecoming! “…and make good choices” as Dr. V. and Dr. C. suggest at the end of the week to the teacher candidates.