Michael, English and social sciences teacher

“I want to choose who I associate with and I want to make that decision willingly.”

Born and raised it Germany, it wasn’t until Michael came to the United States that he discovered the power of being able to make his own decisions and decide his own future. Now teaching English and social sciences in public schools for more than five years, Michael is helping his students explore their own options and find their way in society.

Michael credits much of his current success in the classroom to the benefits he’s received from professional organizations. In addition to providing day-to-day resources like lesson plans and longer-term opportunities to expand his knowledge and teaching approaches, his teaching association membership also means having “a strong partner, a voice, and if something goes really wrong, having someone to provide a liability shield.”

To Michael, teaching association memberships are only valuable when they’re voluntary and not mandated. “I made the decision to become a citizen of a country that is founded on the freedom of association. And I think that should not end anywhere in the teaching profession or in other professions. I want to choose who I associate with, and I want to make that decision willingly.”