Lindsey Nader loves helping her K-5 students in Troy—who have emotional impairments or autism—to learn social skills and access the general education curriculum.
She planned to be a general education teacher after earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. But she continued on to get a master’s degree in special education because she knew it would help her reach a greater number of children.
“I wanted to be able to help all the students in my classroom, not just the ones who were identified (for special education),” she said. “I love knowing I have an impact in helping them become better citizens and contributing members of their communities.”
She always knew she would value MEA; her father belonged to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, so she heard about the importance of unions growing up. But her appreciation grew after an incident with a parent in her third year on the job.
The situation was stressful, but she never felt alone with the support of MEA colleagues and staff. “As high a priority as this situation felt to me, it was the same priority for my MEA rep,” she said. “I didn’t miss a beat in teaching.”
Now she serves as a building representative in her Troy Education Association. “I felt confident handling the situation because of all the support I had in place from MEA. I really can’t attest any higher to how valuable I think being in a union is.”