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Volume 25, Issue 6
Thoughts from a Tired Teacher
By Carol King FHS
The thought niggled at me as I printed my semester grade book and I looked at the number of assignments in each class. Just what have I been doing with my time? In the last nine weeks of work I have graded 6057 individual pieces of student work. I have produced about 216 lessons. Even if I was being very conservative (allowing that some are graded quickly and some are much longer and some we grade in class) and on average I spent 3 minutes grading and data processing each lesson, that is a little more than thirty- seven 8 hour days, which does not include the time I put in teaching class. Lessons, again being conservative, take one to two hours to plan and prepare so that is at least another 27 days of time. I am a veteran so maybe we can knock off seven of those days for the ability to adapt a previously designed activity to meet the need for this year. That makes a total of 57 extra days of work. I have an hour in the day without students by combining the time before and after school and I do have a preparation period four days a week of fifty-five minutes. This time comes to eleven days of time, except that these times are interrupted by meetings, so being conservative let us say I only had 8 hours of meetings, fifty-seven minus ten is forty-seven. A little over a month and a half of equivalent work days in just nine short weeks. I don’t feel so bad about the cobwebs spun in the corners of my house, or the dishes that sit a couple days, and that I feel bone weary. In fact I feel pretty good. What rare specimens we teachers must be to have the drive and stamina to do this work. Few people would last a day in our shoes let alone nine weeks so pat yourself on the back and dig in for the next ten.
Nevada State Education Association Files Ballot Initiative
NSEA is again asking the Nevada Legislature to increase the per student spending for education. Last year Nevada was 45th in the nation for spending per student. The following is from the NSEA website:
“We feel confident that Nevada voters will enthusiastically help us qualify and pass this petition,” said NSEA President Terry Hickman. “Given the overwhelming support we have seen for increased funding for education and the fact that, under this proposal, we have eight years to reach merely average funding levels, we expect this petition will be very popular. I respectfully ask any opponents of this proposal, ‘If not by 2012, when? If not this way, how?’”
NSEA Executive Director Ken Lange added, “We expect that voters will use this petition to send a message to our elected officials about their concern for our education system. The time to reach adequate levels of funding for K-12 education is overdue. If we don’t address this issue now we may never be able to.”
NSEA has formed a Political Action Committee, ‘Nevadans for National Average’ that will have the principal role in qualifying the initiative as well as building a support coalition for this effort.
Horizons of Opportunities: Celebrating 50 Years of Brown v Board of Education 1954-2004
The Supreme Court in 1954 declared in Brown v the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas that laws separating the races in school were unconstitutional. This ruling paved the way for significant movements toward integration and equal opportunities in education.
May 17, 2004 will mark the 50th anniversary of the court’s decision to desegregate America’s public schools. We’ve kicked off our own celebration to raise awareness about the horizons of opportunities opened up by that decision and the need to make real improvements in public education today that fulfill the promise of a quality education and great schools for every child.
What did the U.S. Supreme Court say in 1954? “We conclude that in the field of public education, the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”
NEA believes there are societal and educational benefits in having racially diverse pre K-12 and college-level classrooms. For example, they…
Ÿ help reduce stereotypes and prejudice;
Ÿ integrated environments;
Ÿ promote cross-racial understanding;
Ÿ help students appreciate the differing cultural viewpoint, skills, and values they encounter.
(For further information please see the Horizons of Opportunities : at http://www.nea.org/brownvboard.)
L.C.E.A. Retirement Banquet
Saturday May 8th
Hopefully you have all seen the flyer about the LCEA banquet hanging around your school. On May 8, 2004 we will be honoring retiring members of LCEA with a dinner at the Silverado Casino in Fernley.
R.S.V.P. and prepayment were supposed to be to your building representative by Thursday April 22, 2004. However, if you missed the deadline you may still be able to get a reservation by contacting Leanna Ogle at YES immediately.
NEA Annual Meeting
July 2-7, 2004
NEA’s Annual Meeting is held every July. The first two days are devoted to meetings, conferences, and exhibits. The highlight of the Annual Meeting is the four-day Representative Assembly or “RA.” This is the Association’s highest decision-making body. In addition, with over 9,000 delegates, the RA is also the world’s largest democratic deliberative body. Delegates debate issues that impact American public education and set policy for the 2.7 million member Association.
NEA Pacific Regional Leadership Conference
By Steve Fargan
I attended the NEA Pacific Regional Leadership conference in the surprisingly mild temperatures of Billings, Montana, the weekend of February 20-22, 2004.
On Friday night I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the keynote speaker, NEA President, Reg Weaver. Having Reg Weaver, with his motivational speaking style, open the conference was the perfect start to a great weekend. The Performance by the Montana Logging & Ballet Company on Friday night was also enjoyable and thought provoking.
On Saturday I attended three sessions. Two sessions were held Saturday morning and one session was held Saturday afternoon.
The first session I attended on Saturday morning was “Meetings That Matter: Dealing with Difficult People and Difficult Meetings.” This session was informative and discussed various communication styles. We became aware of our own personal communication style as well as the styles of others. “Election 2004” was the second morning session I attended. This session brought up how the upcoming elections will affect public education and public educators. The afternoon session I attended was “Global Trade Agreements: Impact on Public Education.” This presentation brought up many points that I was previously unaware of. The presenter, Larry Kuehn, was kind enough to send me an email attachment of the PowerPoint slide show he used in his presentation.
Meeting and having discussions with many other teachers from the eight states of the Pacific Region throughout the weekend were also highlights of the conference.
There were other highlights at the conference. One was hearing NEA Secretary-Treasurer, Lily Eskelsen, speak in her warm story telling style. Hearing NEA Vice President, Dennis Van Roekel, and his gentle sense of humor was also enjoyable. However, by far the most humorous and inspirational speaker had to be none other than “Membership Man” who was kind enough to grace us with his presence after traveling from a far way galaxy.
I appreciate the opportunity I was given to be able to attend the New Pacific Regional Leadership Conference and represent Lyon County Education Association. I would be happy to share more details about the conference with interested teachers.
If you have not registered to vote, please do so immediately!
Upcoming Events Calendar
April 23- 25 - NSEA Delegate Assembly - (Peppermill Hotel - Reno)
May 4 - National Teacher Appreciation Day
May 8 - LCEA Retirement Banquet - (Silverado Casino - See Article)
May 17 - 50th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas
July 4-7 - NEA Representative Assembly - (Washington D.C.)
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