Check out these photos from the 2016 NEA RA.
In her keynote address to the 2016 NEA Representative Assembly, (RA) NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia warned that the nation, despite the tremendous progress of the past 8 years, could surrender to fear and demagoguery this election year – unless educators work for justice and stand up and be counted.
Eskelsen García began by honoring the victims of the recent mass shooting in Orlando. Beginning the RA on such a mournful note was difficult, she said, but it was necessary to acknowledge the danger and uncertainly that exists outside the hall.
“There’s a real world out there, and it’s not a safe place,” Eskelsen García said. “The world needs us. It’s not a game. The work we do is important, because it has the chance to change the world. “
Eskelsen saluted the delegates’ work over this past year in tackling institutional racism, but urged them to help protect others who face discrimination.
“It’s almost like there’s a plan to drum up fear and divisiveness for political reasons,” she said.
And in this election year, this toxic climate is being stoked by the presumptive GOP nominee for president. In talking about Donald Trump, Eskelsen Garcia didn’t mince words.
“Donald Trump is a racist, sexist, hypocritical, egotistical thin-skinned bully,” she said to resounding cheers from the 7,000 delegates.
Whether it’s his shameless attacks on an honorable federal judge, the vilification of Mexican immigrants and Muslims, his leadership of the “birther” movement, or his relentless misogyny, Trump’s ascension to the top of the GOP ticket is a chilling development, Eskelsen García said.
“I am terrified that this man has made it this far. This unfit, unworthy man will be the Republican nominee for president of the United States of America.”
On July 5, the RA will hear from presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Eskelsen praised Clinton for speaking out against fear and ignorance and her belief that “as a nation, we’re stronger when we’re together.”
Video: NEA President Lily Eskelsen García’s 2016 Keynote Address
“For so many years I’ve been inspired by her dedication to children and her leadership on the issues that are closest to our hearts. I’ve seen her bring Republicans and Democrats together for children’s health care; she’s fought for children with disabilities and children with dreams. She’s fought for women and unions and working families all her life.”
Politics ain’t beanbag, Eskelsen García reminded the delegates. It’s a tough business, but it always matters who wins elections and educators across the country know that. Silence is not an option. Although the NEA has had its differences with President Obama over the past 8 years, the many historic accomplishments of his administration – the Affordable Care Act, the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, theEvery Student Succeeds Act, and his work on behalf of the millions of undocumented children – would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of educators.
“We won something better for students and families and communities; we moved forward in achieving our mission …because we didn’t sit it out. And we will not waste our collective power waiting for permission – we will lead to something better.”
#TeachLikeMe Day is coming soon! This year, it’s Tuesday, May 3, 2016. Teach Like Me is a campaign started by Oklahoma teacher Shawn Sheehan to improve teacher recruitment and retention by redefining and professionalizing the teaching profession. He encourages teachers everywhere to keep finding ways to share their love and passion for this profession with everyone around them.
On May 3rd, the founders of Teach Like Me are trying to start a movement on social media so they are asking educators to change their profile pictures to one their custom logos and to more importantly post positively about teaching on social media. Post about what you teach and why you teach to contradict all the negative images that are out there. Profile pictures can be found at the here.
Check out the short video clip below for details about what to do that day.
May 3rd is also National Teacher Appreciation Day, so be sure to show your love for your favorite teachers all day long by posting/Tweeting about the impact they’ve had on your life!
During the week of April 5-8th, Crim Primary School participated in autism awareness and acceptance week put together by the autism program teachers Rebecca Galle and Kristie Raventos. Prior to autism awareness week, students throughout the school participated in an introductory activity of reading the poem I Am Ethan by Kelly Graham. The poem is from the point of view of a child with autism discussing his unique qualities. Teachers lead classroom discussions about how everyone is unique. Following the discussion, each student was given a person to color and write their special quality on a puzzle piece. These pictures can be seen brightening the hallways at Crim this month.
Week long events included student visits from K-4th grade classrooms, morning announcement facts, and wearing blue. Students from K-4th grade classrooms had the opportunity to visit the autism program classrooms and work with a buddy. During that time, the students read books, played board games, and did fun activities together. The buddy program was so successful for both the students in the autism program and the general education students, that the buddy program will be continued for the remainder of the school year.
On Wednesday, K-4 teachers read the story “What is autism?” to their classes and answered questions about what they learned. On Thursday, students did a puzzle piece activity in which they talked about ways everyone can be a better friend and how to help make everyone feel included. Teachers explained how each puzzle piece is different but they all come together to make something beautiful. On Friday, students watched the videos My Name is David by Autism Speaks and Autism and Sensory Sensitivity by The National Autism Society.
The week concluded with Crim School “lighting it up blue” for autism awareness. Teachers and staff each donated $1 to wear blue jeans and the entire school was asked to wear the color blue. In addition, Crim Primary School teachers purchased autism awareness t-shirts to wear during this week. Overall Crim Primary School raised $744 for Autism Speaks through t-shirt sales and jean day. This money helps fund autism research and helps to support families with the treatment of their child with autism. Overall the autism awareness and acceptance week at Crim was a huge success! Students and staff were excited to participate in each event throughout the week, and it is clear in the days following the autism activities, students and teachers have a renewed sense of acceptance of understanding for our students with disabilities.
Adamsville Primary School 4th Grade teacher, Debbie Ericksen was honored by the National Science Teachers Associations (NSTA) as recipient of the 2016 Sylvia Shugrue Award. This award recognizes one teacher in the country each year who designs and uses an interdisciplinary model of instruction for a lesson(s).
The criteria for this prestigious award include excellence in teaching that reflects the national science education standards. The recipient shows: Effective lesson planning; ability to motivate and challenge students; proper assessment; and proficiency in science and science education.
As the recipient, Mrs. Ericksen will have her winning science lesson be part of the NSTA webpage. She will correspond by email, and possibly other means, with elementary science teachers to share experiences and information related to lessons selected. She will also encourage students to share their work on the project with children in schools around the world, via Internet and other means.
The students in Mrs. Tunkel’s class at Hillside Intermediate recently enjoyed a visit from special guest, Joe Fogarty. Joe is a graduate of Bridgewater-Raritan High School, and currently attends Rutgers University while majoring in meteorology.
The fifth graders first became excited about meteorology during their unit on Thinking Like a Scientist. Students learned about computer models, and tracked the path of Hurricane Joaquin. The students watched a video of Joe Fogarty on RU-TV Weather Watcher as he forecasted the hurricane’s impact.
Students had many questions for Joe about the science of meteorology, the logistics of using a green screen, and being a college student. The class e-mailed Joe and he answered many of their questions.
But the students were still curious, so a visit to Hillside was arranged. During his presentation, Joe answered more questions about what is involved in being a scientist, the tools used in weather forecasting, and going to college. The students observed a rain gauge and learned about cold fronts. Their math and science skills were reinforced as they multiplied fractions and whole numbers to convert Celsius to Fahrenheit temperatures!