November 12 2012
Vicki E. Alger
Today we remember our veterans and their families who’ve sacrificed so much for our country. Policies that help veterans, their spouses, and children get a better education are one way to honor them. Allowing veterans to put their skills to work in classrooms nationwide is another.
Today is a day of remembrance. Every Veterans Day we celebrate the service of the men and women of the armed forces. As a veteran myself, I can attest to the fact that for us, service is a life-long endeavor. It doesn’t end when your tour of duty does. As a former Staff Sergeant in the United States Army and an alumnus of Teach For America, I want to particularly recognize Veterans who continue their service to our country as educators across the United States.
Teach For America and the communities we serve understand first-hand the value of Veterans and the impact we can have in classrooms. So many of the qualities that make strong teachers in low-income classrooms are the same as those instilled through military service: discipline, resiliency, cultural sensitivity, and high expectations, to name a few. The same authority, control and perseverance that make them heroes on the battlefield also make Veterans effective leaders in the classroom. And Veterans can uniquely relate to the challenges that students of military families face. …
Last week, we officially launched the “You Served for America, now Teach For America” initiative aimed at bringing men and women who are currently serving, those who are transitioning out of service, and Veterans into Teach For America’s community…
To my fellow servicemen and women: Our children need you. The classroom gives us a landing zone that appeals to our desire to do work that is meaningful and puts us in a position to impact lives. It speaks to our commitment to service, and affords us the opportunity to lead again from the front of a classroom. There are scores of young scholars across the country in need of someone to provide purpose, direction and motivation in their lives. They are looking for you!...Who better than us to take on this national challenge. . .and win?
Who indeed. Giving veterans credit for the skills they’ve acquired and streamlining additional classroom training they need would be a boon to students and the country.
To our service members like my husband who defend our liberties, thank you. We honor your sacrifices and remember them today—and every day.