Professional learning and high quality teacher evaluation will be front and center at the 159th annual NJEA Convention November 7-8 in Atlantic City. The Convention is returning to the city after last year’s unprecedented cancellation in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer expressed NJEA’s excitement about the Convention’s return: “When we made the difficult but necessary decision to cancel last year’s convention, we promised to return bigger and better than ever this year, and we are delivering on that promise. We have always prided ourselves on delivering world-class professional development and resources to our members, and this year’s convention takes that to a new level.”
Many of the features set to premier last year will be rolled out at this year’s convention, including a revamped exhibit floor featuring Main Street NJEA, showcasing all the many programs that NJEA offers to its members, and the ESP Pavilion which offers materials and information designed specifically to meet the needs of educational support professionals.
Thousands of educators will attend more than 300 professional development seminars, workshops, and programs to help teachers and educational support professionals hone their skills and stay current in their fields. Highlights include plenary sessions featuring brain-based educator Dr. Marcia Tate and Chris Lehmann, founding principal of the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia. Teacher evaluation expert Charlotte Danielson will offer a featured presentation on how to implement her evaluation model.
Another major attraction is High Tech Hall, which continues to grow. It is an expansive “open classroom” where convention-goers choose from dozens of sessions featuring educator colleagues demonstrating the latest in educational technology.
In addition to the seminars and programs, attendees will take advantage of the Convention Center’s huge exhibit area, featuring more than 700 vendors and exhibitors.
Other highlights of the two-day event include the Celebration of Excellence, which honors NJEA Hipp Foundation grant recipients for the innovative programs they implemented in their schools. The event also recognizes NJEA Award for Excellence recipients, all of whom are New Jersey public school graduates who have gone on to distinguished careers in their fields. This year’s recipients are Dr. Rose Marie Battaglia, renowned basketball coach, Dr. Anthony Laneve, chief of internal medicine at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, the late U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, former NJEA President Joyce Powell, and Matthew Quick, author of The Silver Linings Playbook. Additionally, the 2013-14 New Jersey Teacher of the Year, Kathleen Assini, a social studies teacher in Delsea Regional Middle and High School in Gloucester County, will be featured.