Every member has their own reason to attend the NJEA Convention—and there are hundreds of those reasons. Here are just 10 of them. To find more reasons, and to get the details on the 10 reasons here, download the NJEA Events app to your smartphone or visit njeaconvention.org.

It isn’t just for teachers.

Did you ever overhear someone call the NJEA Convention the “teachers’ convention”? That’s not the full story of what the NJEA Convention is about. In addition to workshops specifically designed for NJEA’s educational support professional (ESP) members—and dozens more that encompass your work and your interests, you’ll find the ESP Pavilion at the heart of the Exhibit Hall on Main Street NJEA. There you can talk members of the ESP Committee and NJEA staff about how NJEA can better serve you and about how you can be a part of the movement to fight for Job Justice for ESPs.

It isn’t just for K-12 members.

Just as the NJEA Convention isn’t just for teachers, it isn’t just for members working in elementary, middle and high schools. NJEA membership includes staff from the state’s 19 community colleges. Friday includes a full day of programming for NJEA’s higher education members.

You’ll meet a New York Times bestselling author.

This year’s featured keynote speaker is Jacqueline Woodson. Woodson is the author of Brown Girl Dreaming, a memoir written in verse to capture Woodson’s experience of growing up in South Carolina and Brooklyn. She describes her increasing awareness of the Civil Rights Movement and the remnants of the Jim Crow South. Woodson speaks on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in Hall A.

You can take a tour.

The Early Career Network “Ambassadors” are leading tours of Main Street NJEA, the Exhibit Hall floor and Digital Boulevard. You don’t have to be an early career member to go on the tour. It’s a great introduction to what’s on the floor and a great way to see much of what NJEA has to offer its members.

You’ll see the stars.

Educational stars, that is. The Celebration of Excellence is a recognition of all that is right with New Jersey’s public schools. You’ll hear from New Jersey Teacher of the Year Jennifer Skomial and meet 2018 ESP of the Year Lynda Miller. NJEA members who have won grants for the 2017-18 school year from the NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education will also be honored. Finally, NJEA will confer the Award for Excellence to Paterson Education Association member Zellie “Imani” Thomas, an outstanding Paterson School District graduate, who has demonstrated exceptional leadership in social justice. It takes place on Friday at 1:15 p.m. in Hall A.

You’ll have a chance to say to the education commissioner and State BOE what you say in the staff room.

New Jersey Commissioner of Education Lamont Repollet and members of the State Board of Education will appear on a panel and take your questions. The State Board of Education adopts the regulations put forth by the commissioner and the New Jersey Department of Education, including, for example, graduation requirements, the New Jersey Student Learning Standards, standardized testing requirements, and teacher evaluation systems. You’ll find them in Hall A on Thursday at 12:30 p.m.

You can bring your kids.

While you attend workshops or other daytime convention events, your children will have tons of fun and experience loads of learning from KiddieCorp—the childcare provider for members at the 2018 NJEA Convention. Activities will include arts and crafts, board games, dramatic play, group games, music and movement, stories, science and nature, and more.

You’ll be impressed by other people’s kids.

On the convention floor, visit the Art Gallery sponsored by the Art Educators of New Jersey. Stop by the STEAM Tank, where students show off new inventions, existing products they’ve modified, or solved a real-world problem. On Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m., the New Jersey All-State Jazz Ensemble and New Jersey Honors Jazz Choir will perform at the Claridge. The New Jersey All-State Chorus and Orchestra takes the stage at 7 p.m. on Friday in Ovation Hall at the Ocean Resort.

You can explore and plan action on social justice issues.

New and creative ways to build a more just society will be explored in the Social Emergency Response Center, which will be located on the Exhibit Hall floor between Aisles 20 and 23. This space, which in many ways will be created by those who visit it, will provide opportunities for rejuvenation, reflection and action.

There’s something for everyone in the workshops.

At the heart of the NJEA Convention are the hundreds of workshop sessions on the third and fourth floors of the Atlantic City Convention Center. Twenty-seven professional education organizations present well over half of these programs ensuring that the programs are of the highest standards and address the wide variety of roles educators take on in public schools, whether you are a teacher, an ESP, or community college faculty or staff member. 

Related Articles

Send this to a friend