I’m halfway through my last class in my string of summer learning. This one is a bit different because I had to travel to southeastern Wisconsin. I’m at Lake Lawn Resort in Delavan.


Apparently the resort has been around for a long, long time. It’s not far from Chicago. I’ve heard that many people from that area come to this “Geneva Lakes” area of Wisconsin during the summer. In the morning, I wake up to this view:


When I travel, I’m usually really good about remembering a rain jacket. I completely forgot this time. But it doesn’t really matter. Each building is connected through a series of enclosed hallways. It takes me 5 minutes to walk from my room to the conference center. I wish I would have remembered my pedometer just to see how far it is. I have a feeling it’s about a quarter-mile. I kind of feel like a hamster in a habitrail. You know, the hamster has to go through a series of tubes to get to another “room” in the hamster house…

I’m at the Great Lakes Union Leadership Institute put on by the Illinois Federation of Teachers. The national organization affiliated with this conference is the AFT. I’m in a class called Building a Political and Legislative Powerhouse.

As teachers, we are neutral in our classrooms. It’s not a place to be inserting your political opinion. But outside the classroom, we need to be involved. Whether we like it or not, our jobs are directly affected by what happens in our state capitols and in Washington DC. The political arm of the AFT is the Committee on Political Education (COPE). This class is about getting your members active and involved in the political process. With the recent supreme court ruling, this is more important than ever.


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