I’m a history teacher. I enjoy it. I’m a taxpayer. I accept it. I recognize my responsibility to pay my fair share to support the commonwealth. I elect representatives to determine how much I need to pay and how my taxes get spent to support the public good, and if I don’t approve of their taxing and spending decisions, I enjoy the right to cast a vote to get them out next time.
I am also a member of the National Education Association. This I don’t enjoy and will likely no longer be able to accept. Many years ago our principal was away, and when he received word that a student was secretly taping classes and conversations, he asked me to collect her recording device. I explained the situation, the student gave me the device, and I told her she could retrieve it in the office at the end of the day. A few hours later the police appeared at my classroom door to investigate her mother’s charge that I’d “stolen” the recorder. That day I reluctantly decided to join the National Education Association. I’ve been paying dues ever since.