NJEA members juggle so many responsibilities personally and professionally that it is easy to become overwhelmed and over-stressed. This makes it even more important that we recognize our successes and continue to build our momentum toward a future that ensures every public school employee has the economic and professional freedom to provide an excellent education for the children in our care.
NJEA members have been tirelessly fighting for job justice for educators, including Ch. 78 relief and vital job security measures for educational support professionals (ESPs), and that effort has been paying off. More legislators have signed on as co-sponsors to the bills that address these needs, and we are eager to see the bills heard in committee. We must continue to advocate for these bills, and we will be holding more lobby days to ensure that our voices are heard in the Statehouse.
Successful programs inspire others, and Absecon Public Schools, in cooperation with the Absecon Education Association, has a fantastic one. The staff and students in Absecon are proudly going to the dogs, Hope and Skye. The Greater Swiss mountain dogs work as therapy dogs with students in the district, and staff is eager to share their overwhelmingly positive experience with educators across the state.
When challenging economic times hit, people need to know they have somewhere to turn, and our members are always among the first to step up. The East Brunswick Education Association is a strong advocate for its members, the students they serve, and the East Brunswick community at large. In this issue, we look at their efforts to provide free clothing for families in need year-round.
In our jobs, we are no stranger to conflict and how to manage it effectively. In “When Conferences Turn Sour,” Burlington County Teacher of the Year Melissa Antinoff offers guidance on responding when a conference with a parent takes a sour turn. She offers tips for making your parent-teacher conferences successful before they even begin.
Finally, the NJEA Review takes a closer look at the upcoming 100th anniversary of American women’s right to vote. On Aug. 18, 2020, the nation will mark the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, guaranteeing the right to vote to American women. Hank Bitten, the executive director of the New Jersey Council for the Social Studies (NJCSS), writes about the long road to that achievement and the plans that NJCSS and other organizations are making to celebrate that journey.
Looking back over the 2018-19 school year, we can see how far we have already come, and how far we have yet to go. It’s a good opportunity to reflect on your personal and professional achievements and give yourself a much-needed pat on the back. And, if you can, recognize the good work that your colleagues are doing. Together, we will finish this year strong and advance our goals and priorities from the schoolhouse to the Statehouse.
@Marie.Blistan: TERRIFIC NJEA ESP conference weekend where our members met, learned, and planned to keep our public schools strong! Thank you to ESP Committee Chair Donna O’Malley, her committee, staff contacts Bob Antonelli and Kim Lipcsey for all of the hard work that goes into providing this high-quality union-led experience! Congratulations to all of our NJEA County ESPs of the Year!!
On Feb. 6, NJEA President Marie Blistan posted photos from the annual NJEA Educational Support Professionals (ESP) Conference. The three-day conference provides workshops for the association’s ESP members and honors the NJEA ESP of the Year and County ESPs of the Year.
Sean M. Spiller
@SpillerForNJEA: Roselle EA members out to #FixTheUnfairness!
On Feb. 6, NJEA Vice President Sean M. Spiller joined members of the Roselle Education Association for a Walk-In Wednesday. He posted photos from his morning there. Every Wednesday, NJEA members across the state are wearing red and gathering outside their buildings at the start of the school day. They walk in together to demonstrate solidarity in their support of legislation that provides job justice for educational support professionals and relief from exorbitant health care premium contributions. Many members are posting photos from the events to social media with the hashtag #FixTheUnfairness.
@SteveBeattyNJEA: Great time these past few days in D.C. at NEA HQ for lobbying, training, and a gala! Hard work put in by your NEA Board of Directors, and time well spent with brothers and sisters from around the nation doing the good work!! And an incredibly moving presentation from Keron Blair, Executive Director of the Alliance to Reclaim our Schools. #RedForEd
NJEA Secretary-Treasurer Steve Beatty posted photos from Washington, D.C., where he, along with NJEA President Marie Blistan and NJEA Vice President Sean M. Spiller, attended the NEA Board of Directors meeting, lobbied members of Congress for pro-public education legislation, and enjoyed the NEA Foundation Awards Gala.