December President’s Message

It’s been the longest week ever, but we made it to winter break!  Over the last few months, I have talked with an astounding number of BEA members who are feeling completely burned out and thinking about leaving the profession.   Our members (as well as principals and classified staff) have been stretched thin.  We all recognize that more support is needed, but the expectations for staff and students have not been adjusted accordingly.  In fact, it feels like we are all being asked to do even more. 

The BEA Executive Board has been looking at ways to mitigate the stress and burnout that so many of our colleagues are experiencing.  Here are some of the commitments we are making:

  • We have renewed our resolve to advocate for lower class sizes and caseloads, and additional counselors, social workers, school psychologists, nurses and other mental health supports in our schools.  The Student Investment Account (part of the Student Success Act) offers funding to address these needs.  Stay tuned for ways to engage in the district’s SSA process in February. 
  • We will continue to advocate for reductions in workload – particularly the number and length of required meetings, and other expectations that are not meaningful or member-driven. 
  • We are advocating for member voice to be at the table to provide input on district-level decisions.  Practitioners of the work have the most accurate knowledge of what our staff and students need right now and should be involved in decision-making. 
  • We have scheduled a variety of BEA workshops to support members in professional learning and self-care. We are offering workshops on trauma-informed practices and de-escalation strategies, as well as informative sessions about accessing healthcare benefits, resiliency, and wellness.  Learn more and register at beavertonEA.org/events.

There has never been a more important time for members of our union to support each other.  Thank you for your dedication to this work.

Have a restful and relaxing winter break,

Sara Schmitt

BEA President