U.S. CONGRESS 2016
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 6
“THE FUTURE SHALL BE OURS.”
When I first encountered my opponent in the Democratic primary in
Congressional District 6, one of the comments he made condescendingly was
that his business experience made him much more qualified to manage a
congressional office than my experience as a teacher.
I bring this up now not to dwell on a past conflict, but to point out that
this condescending thought is not unusual in our society when it comes to
people’s opinions of those of us who make our livings in the classroom.
The idea that some people have, however, that teachers don’t have
management ability, of course, does nothing but make me laugh.
My responsibilities as a high school teacher over the years have often
been a complex mix of data, information, idea and human management that
might make some businesspeople’s heads spin. For a teacher not only has to
deliver the academic content of a course, but also put it in a form,
verbally and in writing, that the student will take an interest in. In my
case, as a high school English teacher, I interact with Juniors this
year–16-and 17-year olds–to help them advance not only their knowledge
about American Literature but their skills in written expression.
Combined with the management of the course content, moreover, is the
management, behavior-wise, of the students’ themselves. The successful
teacher which–after 23 years–I think I am, must respect the students
while at the same time making sure that he, or she, himself is respected.
This is not an easy task, especially since all students are required to
take English, which means a lot of students would rather be somewhere else
than an English class. The teacher must learn how to interact with
students one-on-one to gain their confidence and to correct them without
humiliating them in front of their peers, which is, I understand, the
worst thing that can happen to a teenager.
Thus, this combination of intellectual-content management and behavior
management–along with interfacing with administrative personnel–makes
the teacher’s job one of the more complicated, in my judgement, in our
Unfortunately, we are vastly underrated by most other professions in our
culture. Our culture glorifies, I believe, money, legal power, and
technical expertise more than the humanistic knowledge-worker–to use a
term from Peter Drucker–that the teacher is. Yet what we need now more
than ever is humanistic–meaning humanely focused–leadership in our
country. This style of leadership–to create respect and be respected
while helping students to learn–is what I have been practicing, I
believe, in my classroom for almost 25 years. And I will bring this style
of leadership to Washington if elected on November 8th.
Beyond that, from 2009 to May of this year, I served six one-year terms as
the Unit Chair–that is, head–of the Classroom Teachers
Association–teachers’ union–at my particular school. I was elected by my
peers in CTA (Classroom Teachers Association) each time. In this position,
I, along with the members of my CTA team, represented teachers in meetings
with the principal. I strove to establish and maintain a positive working
relationship with the principal–there were two in the course of my
service. I attended once per week the meeting of the Executive Board of
our District CTA of which Paul Lowes is the president. The CTA Executive
Board is a gathering of the unit chairs from all the various schools in
Further, the superintendent of our district would attend these Executive
Board meetings once per month. At that time, the unit chairs from the
various schools would have the privilege of sharing concerns they had
related to their schools with the superintendent. Dr. Kent Scribner was
the superintendent up until the middle of last fall when he took on the
superintendency of a larger school district in Texas; then Dr. Chad
Gestson became the new superintendent.
Sharing my concerns on behalf of the teachers at my school with these two
top executives of our district were always special moments of
communication that taught me the importance of being a responsible
representative of my colleagues. This I did without receiving any extra
pay and in addition to my regular teaching duties.
If you would like to contribute financially to my campaign, please go to
my website at www.williamsonforuscongress.com. Click on “Make a Donation,”
and you may use, through secure and safe PayPal, your debit or credit
card. Or you may send a check to the address of my campaign committee
listed on that page as well. Be sure to include your name, your address,
the name of your employer and your occupation with your contribution. This
information is required by the Federal Election Commission.
My Democratic campaign really needs your financial uplifting now, so
whatever amount you can contribute will be greatly appreciated. I
especially thank those who have helped so far, in particular the wonderful
supporter who made a monthly recurring donation. That is a marvelous
THE FUTURE SHALL BE OURS when we realize that the classroom management
skills of accomplished public school teachers are equal to the management
skills of any business or professional leader. A teacher in the classroom
must manage not only academic content but the behavior and attitudes of
the students in a motivating manner so that learning can take place. Any
public education teacher who has proven himself over the years is,
contrary to the ARIZONA REPUBLIC Editorial Board, prepared for the
entry-level challenges of the U.S. Congress, and voters in District 6
should accordingly cast their ballot for me on November 8th.
Thank you for your time.
W. John Williamson