AZHPE - Shape Arizona

It’s Time to Advance!

Lynn Preble, Past-President News & Events, President's Message

“If you are not advancing, you are retreating.” A quote from Four Star General Oliver P. Smith. Teaching is not unlike war, in an abstract sense.  There are many daily battles that are won, and there are many that are lost.  Some of those battles are in the classroom, and some are outside of it.  But it is a war worth fighting for.  I am by no means comparing teaching to what our fine men and women do in the service.  They have my utmost respect and gratitude. I just mean to put a perspective on our current situation in education.  Educators are a special lot.  We will do anything for our students, that’s not a novel concept.  I don’t think anyone would argue that point.  But the one thing that often is overlooked by educators is what I call “professional responsibility.”  I am the current president of Arizona Health and Physical Education.  An organization I admit I didn’t know much about in my early days of teaching. It wasn’t until I was well into my career that I became involved in the organization.  When teacher’s ask why they should join I have to ask them why not?  It is our responsibility as educators to advance in our career, not retreat.  One goal of our organization is to provide appropriate professional development for health and physical education teachers across the state.  But, we also are in the business of advocacy.  We advocate for our field at both the state and national level, helping to ensure our field is not marginalized and receives the respect and recognition it deserves. As recent events have shown, we all have to advocate for our respective fields.  If we don’t tell our stories, someone else will, and it most likely will be wrong. I know all subject areas have their own professional organization. Math has Arizona Association of Teachers of Math, Social Studies has Arizona Council for the Social Studies and the National Council for Social Studies. Band ABODA and AMEA. I can go on.  It is important for all subject area teachers to be a part of their professional organization. A favorite saying of mine is if you are not willing to be part of the solution then you are part of the problem. Talking about it doesn’t make it go away. You have to take action. Being part of a professional organization is where your story can be told. A group of like-minded professionals waging battles for their field, as we have seen, is a powerful thing. It is time to ADVANCE! Find your field’s professional organization and speak up, be heard and tell your story. It is your narrative and make sure it is told correctly.