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  1. One of the great benefits of teaching is when former students come back to let you know how they are doing. Veronica was in my sophomore World Studies class and graduated a few years ago. She stopped by to tell me how the Japanese art and poetry contest I run for our school district’s students and my international emphasis in class in general have influenced her. She was one of many contest winners, studied in Art School how to create art in various international styles, and now is working toward becoming an art teacher. Teachers plant seeds, but do not know how they will grow.

    As we continue to wage the necessary political fights to protect collective
    bargaining and to promote student learning, I want to challenge everyone to
    not lose sight of the rest of the world. Continue to bring the world to our
    students. Teach students to walk in the footprints of others. Seek out
    opportunities for them to explore beyond themselves. If you have an
    opportunity to travel, to host an international student or teacher, to use
    technology to talk directly with people all over the world or to cooperate on
    a project together, then share it with the students. And when you create the opportunity to reduce someone’s suffering anywhere in the world, through
    disaster relief donations, the giving of water buffalos or other animals, or by folding a thousand paper cranes, share that with the students. Not only
    will it make the world a better place, but it will empower our students, like Veronica.


    Rob Fetters
    NEA Applegate-Dorros Peace and International Understanding Award winner
    OEA Paul Swaddling Peace and International Understanding Award winner
    Mount Vernon Education Association Negotiator and Past President
    NCOEA Executive Committee
    OEA Legislative Committee

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