By: Allison Estes-Brown
One of the most important things I do as a special education teacher is act as an honest and authentic advocate for my students. When budgets are tight and there are many competing priorities, my students are counting on me to make sure they have the support, tools and time that they need to learn. As an educator, I am deeply committed to their success– they are my top priority.
Educators across this country want to see that kind of authentic advocacy and proven commitment to students and educators in the White House. That is why I’m proud the National Education Association and its three million educator members has recommended Hillary Clinton for President in the Democratic primary. I will fight tirelessly for her, because she will fight tirelessly for me.
When I met Hillary here in New Hampshire, I was really blown away, not just because of her record but because of the drive and commitment she has to help every student and be a true champion for working families. Hillary has gone door-to-door to improve access to public education, in the Senate she fought against measures that would damage public schools and she has proven over and over that she puts students and educators first.
Hillary has always shown educators respect and listened to us when making decisions that affect students. As an educator, I am excited to have a seat at the table as we work together to develop plans to overcome the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities that the next decade holds for public education.
Educators like me solve problems and find ways to unlock the potential of our students every day. No parent or student wants to hear that special education has to be a part of their learning process. But with a team of caring, qualified and committed educators to help students and their families understand that their differences do not limit them—along with support, hard work and persistence—students define their own opportunities. I am so glad we are supporting Hillary because she will make sure that students and educators get the support they need so that every student can realize their potential.
Over the years, I have had the privilege of coming to know many students and their families, and I have learned about the challenges they face. While it is true that having a great educator in the classroom is key for a child’s success, it is also important that every child has food on the table and a roof over their head. I know that so many of my students have parents who work two and sometimes three jobs just to make ends meet. This economic insecurity takes a toll on a child’s ability to succeed. It has never been more important to have someone in the White House who gets what families are going through and is ready to fight for what it takes to help every child and every family be successful.
Hillary understands these challenges and is committed to ensuring that every student no matter their zip code, has the opportunity to succeed. From her early days as an advocate for children, to this campaign for president, Hillary’s commitment has never wavered. Neither will mine.
Allison Estes-Brown is a special education teacher in New Hampshire. She has been an educator for 16 years.