NEA DC 2012

NEA Annual meeting began today in Washington DC amidst the 4th of July crowds and record heat. The first day is registration, caucuses for states and groups, a great deal of organizing goes on before we start the business on the floor of the RA. IEA used some of the caucus time to review the pension … [Read more...]

ETA Moving Forward

Members of the ETA have had an amazing 2 weeks. We have processed 50 pages of contractual changes, debated, reflected and ultimately rejected the agreement as presented. Of course it does not stop there and we continue to discuss and look for solutions that will make sense for everyone. The … [Read more...]

Statement of TA Support

At the request of some members and building representatives, I have put together a brief statement of why I support the passage of this TA. I tried to give reasons, not emotional rhetoric or threats of dire consequences. Whether a yes or a no vote ensues, there will be consequences for our entire … [Read more...]

Notes from IEA RA

The annual meeting of the IEA brings over 1000 members in one spot to review the year and make plans for the next. Thursday, March 15th, started with speech from Lily Eskelsen, NEA Vice President. Then all the IEA Committees had open hearings on their reports. I attended the certification … [Read more...]

Beyond the Classroom

During my 20 years as an Elgin High English teacher, my friends stopped calling me on Sundays. They knew just about any invitation would be turned down and conversations would be short. Responding to student writing was the main activity; 150 students, with at least 3 minutes per essay is a pretty … [Read more...]

Professionals Share Collective Wisdom

Politicians and headlines simultaneously claim that we are in the worst of times and that we are on the way to prosperity again.  As usual, the truth most likely lies some where in the middle. Clearly the attack against public schools continues, without much to support the rhetoric. The simplistic … [Read more...]

Retirement Notification – An Update

Section 27.10.2 of the Elgin Agreement establishes a deadline for members to give the District their official notification of their intent to retire. Under the terms of the 2011-12 Agreement this notice is irrevocable except as established in the contract (27.10.3). Since negotiations are ongoing it … [Read more...]

Reform: to put or change into an improved form or condition

Recent political banter has painted this term with many negative connotations. It is ironic that by the true definition, this word describes the daily work of a teacher, whether describing our daily work with students or ongoing self-reflection of practice. Our profession is one that has always … [Read more...]

Thank you for your service

It is cold, wet, dark, and you are trying to get your family organized so you can get out the door to school. You grab your bag with the supplies you purchased last night. You grab the bag with the homework stacks that need to be ready for today’s review and stuff the pages of testing … [Read more...]

Dear State Legislature

"Education costs money, but then so does ignorance." -- Sir Claus Moser. By now it is very clear that the State is still looking to find its way through these financial struggles by cutting blindly, almost with the same thoughtlessness as the spending has been. The solutions of the past are not … [Read more...]