No one is busier than educators at this time of year, and yet somehow, no one seems to get more done. From advocating for students’ educational interests as the state budget is finalized by June 30, to voting in New Jersey’s primary elections on June 4, to finishing out the school year strong, NJEA members are tireless in their advocacy for their students, their colleagues and their profession.
In this issue, you’ll find articles to inspire, inform, and hopefully motivate you to keep tackling your to-do lists.
Collective bargaining and enforcing members’ rights continue to be the backbone of this—or any—union. NJEA staff and members work to identify strategies to negotiate the best possible contracts and build stronger local associations. In “Open Bargaining,” learn more about how some local associations are adopting open bargaining techniques to advance members’ economic interests.
Learn more about the New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning, founded by NJEA in 2007. This organization now leads the nation of producing physics teachers and is a leader in producing chemistry and math teachers. “A Ten-Year Review of a New Jersey Science and Mathematics Endorsement Program” looks at the changes that have been made to the program to enhance access to a physics, chemistry or mathematics endorsement.
In “Perfect Timing: Dual Language Learners and Preschool Expansion,” we look at English Language Learners at the preschool level. Research shows that students who enter kindergarten with stronger home language and English language skills perform better in school. The recent expansion of funding for preschool presents an opportunity to ensure that students who are learning English while speaking a different language at home have the support they need to succeed.
For Toms River Education Association member Christian Kane, what started out as a simple plan to create a baseball field where his son Gavin, who suffered a brain injury in a car accident, has grown to become a plan that, when completed, will be an all-inclusive recreation complex that is open to anyone of any age or ability. Read their story in “Toms River Field of Dreams.”
As educators and advocates, you carry a great deal of responsibility, but as another school year draws to a close, take a moment to celebrate the fact that you and those who came before you have built and maintained one of the most successful systems of public education in the country. Our students succeed because you go above and beyond to ensure that their needs are met at the local, county, state and national levels. Your advocacy for yourselves and your colleagues has made our union one of the strongest educational organizations in the nation.
Thank you for all that you do each and every day for public education and the students we serve!
@Marie.Blistan: NJEA T.E.A.C.H. Conference was SUPERB! Beginning with our keynote speaker through the workshop presenters, members remained engaged and enthusiastic around the factors that help our students learn!
NJEA President Marie Blistan shared photos and videos from the NJEA T.E.A.C.H. conference, held on April 6. Dr. Pedro Noguera was the keynote speaker. The conference included 12 breakout sessions that focused on issues of equity for racial, social and educational justice.
Sean M. Spiller
@SpillerForNJEA: Always exciting and appreciated when the governor stops in to let us know how much he values education and what we do. Let’s help him pass a budget that restores fairness in NJ with a tax on millionaires and more funding for our kids’ schools!
On March 30, NJEA Vice President Sean M. Spiller posted photos from Gov. Phil Murphy’s visit to the NJEA Delegate Assembly meeting. In addition to expressing his deep appreciation for the work of New Jersey’s teachers and educational support professionals and the value of the collective bargaining, the governor discussed his budget proposal for the coming fiscal year.
@SteveBeattyNJEA: Incredible morning spent at Cinnaminson Middle School for their 34th annual Unity Day PRIDE event. Hearing from the students who participate and work to serve their community and engender character, compassion, and empathy—guided by so many great educators! Thank you, Andy Kim and Assemblywoman Carol Murphy, for your inspiring words.
On April 9, NJEA Secretary-Treasurer Steve Beatty posted photos from his visit to Cinnaminson Middle School and its Unity Day event. The Cinnaminson Education Association had a strong presence throughout the day and supported Unity Day with a grant from the NJEA PRIDE in Public Education program. The day included a program with Congressman Andy Kim and Assemblywoman Carol Murphy as speakers.
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