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NCAE North Carolina Association of Educators

News Bulletin Sept. 2018

Vol. 49, No. 2

www.ncae.org

2018-19 Kicks Off with Statewide Membership Recruitment Events

Columbus County Johnston County Pitt County Northampton County

Stokes County #InThis Together Guilford County

Durham County

Wayne County

Hertford County #NCAE Strong

Edgecombe County

Scotland County

Beaufort County


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New Year, New Movement! School is back in full swing, and by now, your students are navigating the path of greatness that you have set in place for them this year. The excitement of what a new school year brings is still fresh, a momentum, I’m confident, you hope continues through next June. Kristy Moore Vice President Momentum…let’s think about this word for a moment. It means “force or speed of movement; impetus, as of a physical object or course of events.” This word best describes the work we are faced with as we move toward November 6. May 16 was the beginning of a series of events that can change the political climate in North Carolina, if we work together. But, we need everyone on board in order to make that happen. Case in point…during the recent primary election in Florida, the Democratic party scored a major victory in its candidate for governor. It sets the stage for a ferocious general election in one of the country’s largest swing states. Fueling this success were the citizens who turned out in mass at the polls to vote. That’s what we must do in approximately 60 days if we are going to return our state back to being the great public education beacon it once was. The momentum that began in May, that feeling of strength and hope, must sustain us as we prepare to knock on doors, make phone calls, and distribute literature on the candidates we have endorsed and know will make public education a top priority. As I mentioned, it’s going to take everyone working together in order to change the trajectory for ourselves and for our students. During this season of membership recruitment, have discussions with those in your school who are not members about the difference their voice can make. Share your story on what NCAE means to you as educator

and why you are a proud member. Let them know the various ways in which you are involved and how it is helping you professionally and personally. One conversation may not be enough for them to say yes to the movement. It may take two or three. Don’t be afraid to continue to reach out because each time you do, you will be watering the seed that you have planted. The excitement that you are still feeling as a result of a new year and participating in or supporting the largest act of organized educator political action to take place in North Carolina should serve as a reminder that CHANGE is within our grasp. What began as a thought blossomed into a crowd of thousands spilling onto the streets of Raleigh. As educators, we can no longer be ignored. We will no longer be ignored! The power that we harnessed and displayed before the world speaks volumes. Together we can be stronger and united our voices can roar with a fierceness. It’s public education’s turn now. The success of our students, the success of our schools, and the success of our profession begins with each of us. The challenge before us will not be easy, but we’re used to that! We’re educators and we’re resilient! Remember, as is stated in the famous poem titled “Don’t Quit” by John Greenleaf Whittier: “When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill, When the funds are low and the debts are high, And you want to smile, but you have to sigh, When care is pressing you down a bit – Rest if you must, but don’t you quit. Success is failure turned inside out, The silver tint in the clouds of doubt, And you never can tell how close you are, It might be near when it seems afar; So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit, It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.”

Remember to...

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Wear on Wednesdays


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The Most Important Election -- Take 2018 Remember May 16? Remember the Rally for Respect? The March for Our Students? Anyone remember 30,000 of our closest friends on the front lawn of the NCAE Center? Including NCAE members, potential members, and community supporters? I know I do. That day is etched in my memory forever… It was the continuation of a movement, of a shift in thinking, of a partnership between like-minded individuals. It was the start of something big… For those of you who were here with us… Remember the feeling you had that day? How you felt? What you thought? Even if you were not, do you remember how you felt when you were with us in spirit? Watching as the day unfolded? Remember the joy? The pride? The determination? The empowerment? The collective strength? The very idea that our collective voice could change the course of public education in North Carolina? As we move through a very important time in our history, I invite you to remember the feeling you had that day… because we will feel that again… when we win in November. This election is the most important election we have ever had in North Carolina. I am sure you have heard folks say that a million times. Every time it is true. This year is no different. We have a huge opportunity to impact the outcome of the election this November and change the political landscape in Raleigh -- in the General Assembly. We can make a positive change in the direction that education policy and funding goes for years to come and continue the action that we started on May 16. To do that, we MUST elect pro-public education candidates who support our positions on public education and who will listen to us long after the election is over. As NCAE is a member-driven organization, local screening committees made up of members and leaders have

interviewed and recommended endorsements for many legislative seats based on a candidate’s position on our issues. All NCAE-endorsed candidates can be found on ncaevotes.org. Shortly, we will also be unveiling opportunities for members and potential Rachelle Johnson members alike to join in and Executive Director advocate for a pro-public education candidate in your area. As educators, you have the most influential voices on all issues public education, and we must lift up our voices on the issues we care about and that impact public schools and students. I know some of you indicate that you do not want to engage in politics. I can understand that. However, politics shape almost everything in our worlds -- class size, compensation, textbooks, building structures, health insurance, access to digital resources, etc. As I am fond of saying -- if you don’t do politics, politics will do you. This is the chance of a lifetime -- to take back our schools, our communities, our state, and our Legislature. But the only way we do that is to win…TO WIN. And win big. In November. In order to do that, I ask you one thing. What are you willing to do to ensure that public education stays public, that all students get the resources they need to succeed in school, and that educators get the respect they deserve? I hope to see you at a campaign event in the very near future. #InThisTogether #NCAEStrong

Standing Strong for Public Schools! Check out the 2018-19 NCAE Legislative and Budget Update prepared by the Government Relations Department, which gives a snapshot of how public education faired during the most recent Legislative session. Click here.


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Learning Is a “Family Affair” in Kirtina Jones’ Classroom! On the first day of school, students in Kirtina Jones’ second-grade class were assigned homework. A little unusual, some might think, but the attitude she takes is “we’re in this thing so let’s roll!” While most students were getting acclimated to their new homerooms, her students were taking the first steps in drawing their family tree, an exercise designed to foster conversation and make them feel at home. “There are three things that I believe in as an educator…being deliberate, consistent, and specific,” said Jones, who teaches at R.N. Harris Elementary, a Title 1 school in Durham. “This exercise is deliberate because it helps break down the wall for students that they are not alone in this journey. I share with students my family tree, which is missing the branches representing my mother and brother, and explain that I lost them when I was around their age. This allows students to open up about their experiences, and in that moment, their classmates surround them, and that’s the beginning of building their classroom community.” This is year 15 as an educator for Jones, who tells her students they are one big family. She is lovingly referred to as “Mama Jones,” and her classroom is Mama Jones’ House. “When you think about it, students are with us more than they are at home. So, the least we [educators] can do is make them feel like they are at home. But, I let them know, just like at home, we always respect each other and have boundaries that we don’t cross, and we have to be responsible and held accountable for our actions. I also let them know that they each have a job and that everyone has something to contribute. The idea is to give them something they feel proud of, something they feel a part of.” Jones admits that her teaching style is somewhat unconventional, but it has been successful. “I try to think about teaching from a student’s perspective. I imagine myself sitting at one of those desks and what I would want a teacher to do for me. I also think about the type of classroom I

Jones said the feeling she experienced in fourth grade of how teachers rallied around her after her mother died made a huge impression. When she became a teacher, she wanted her students to have and feel that same sense of community.

would feel most comfortable in. I might teach second grade for 20 more years but for my students, this is the only second-grade experience they will ever have. I want it to be memorable for them and something they enjoy.” Making students feel relaxed and forming relationships with them is also important to Jones. In her experience, when students are relaxed they do better in school. She wants them to know it’s not a “my way or the highway” type attitude in her classroom and everything does not have to be “just so.” Students won’t do well if they don’t feel relaxed and if they feel you as an educator don’t get them, she said. When it comes to forming relationships, Jones said you can’t be who students really need for you to be as an educator unless you are involved in their lives. “Community is not the walls of the school. You have to attend their games, go to a birthday party if invited, and sometimes stop by their homes.” She once visited the home of one of her students who lived in a wellknown Durham community. A colleague asked, “You went out there by yourself, Ms. Jones?” “Yes,” I said,

“You can’t be who students really need for you to be unless you are involved in their lives. You can’t make a child feel that you get him or her if you’re not attempting to show them that you will do a little bit more. If you go the extra mile, they will meet you halfway.”

“It’s where some of our babies live. I thought to myself, if that’s how you’re looking at things, like where they’re from, how do you look at them? “As educators, we can’t be afraid to go where they go; we can’t be afraid to be in this thing with them because they feel that. It matters when they feel you have something in common with them. We as educators have to get outside of ourselves and realize it’s all about relationships and community. I have no problems showing up at their homes and knocking on the door. They have to know that we believe in them and will show up for them. Sometimes you’re going to feel uncomfortable, but guess what? It’s going to mean the world to your students!”


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VOICING YOUR OPINION! Members Sound Off on the Continuing Effects Budget Cuts Are Having on Public Education Lawmakers may be on hiatus but before they concluded the Short Session on June 29, they once again implemented a budget that short-changes public schools, leaving less money for textbooks and resources; no funding for the hiring of more school counselors, nurses, and social workers; no movement in per-pupil spending; and salaries that remain below the national average for educators. Class size will continue to increase, the physical appearance of schools will continue to deteriorate, and students once again will feel the brunt of the choices that have been made. Because lawmakers have decided to invest less in public schools and more in helping the wealthy and big corporations, members were asked to comment on how the cuts will affect their students and the jobs they do this school year. Here is what some of you had to say: “The budget cuts have made it so awful that floors in my school were not cleaned over the summer. Under normal circumstances, summer cleaning includes shampooing the carpet and stripping and waxing the floors. Imagine the immense amount of traffic across these surfaces, not to mention the amount of urine, feces, and vomit spills that have occurred. I don’t think anyone would want their child exposed to this. Teachers at my school were outraged and insulted. But, like always, we came up with a remedy. Some of us pooled our precious summer money (that we carefully saved) to get our carpets shampooed. Some who own shampooers brought them in and cleaned their own carpet. I know this has been said many times before…society entrusts us with its most prized possessions and we as educators get treated less than criminal. What is the implication here?” – Wake County member “I would ask lawmakers, ‘How have you been able to do your job?’ It’s because my colleagues taught you. ‘Who took care of you when you became sick at school?’ More than likely a school nurse, who waited with you until your mother picked you up. The same ones today who sometimes provide service to three schools. ‘Who did you talk to when you got into a fight at school, or perhaps when a student died?’ The guidance counselor. Guess what? My school doesn’t have one! I challenge all legislators to spend a day in a school – working -not just sitting and observing.” – Gaston County member

“We need mental health professionals. Students suffering from depression, substance abuse, autism, and emotional disabilities are on the rise. My students need counseling to get through their days and weeks. We ran out of counseling slots before the end of the year. Two of my 15 students required hospitalization last school year. They had to wait months for one of the six (for the entire state) available slots to open. It is exhausting trying to keep pace with the immense supervision needs of students with mental illness. Teaching is more complex now and it is our duty to help ALL students achieve their potential. In order to do this, we need to have our schools fully funded. Please do your duty!” – Chapel-Hill/Carrboro member “I am a speech therapist. I do this job by choice because I enjoy working with children. However, I get endless calls from recruiters from various agencies offering me other opportunities because of my expertise. Until now I have turned them down. Each time I see a new budget proposed by the General Assembly and how they disrespect school employees, those calls get a little more enticing. I recently agreed to work part time for a health care agency in the evenings after school. This may be the beginning of the end for me! – Iredell/Statesville member “Contrary to what some lawmakers are saying, the increase that was allotted to teachers still keeps them at a ranking below the national average. While on the subject, during those years when salaries were frozen, not only were they earning less than what their original contract implied, but the move on the part of our representatives also decreased a teacher’s pension and health insurance coverage. Are we the only ones who understand cause and effect?” -- Union County member

“The right to quality education is, I believe, the perfect path to bridge the gap between different cultures and to reconcile various civilizations. Without such a right, the values of liberty, justice, and equality will have no meaning. Ignorance is by far the biggest danger and threat to humankind.” -- Moza bint Nasser


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Contribute to NCAE-PAC Today and Help Elect Pro-Public Education Candidates on Nov. 6

Pro-Public Education Candidates Will: Fully fund public schools Increase per-pupil spending Ensure students have needed resources Implement school safety programs

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Work to increase salaries to the national average or above Maintain benefits for active employees and retirees

For more info, visit the Member’s Only site at www.ncae.org.

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Back-to-School Legal Tips

News From the NCAE NBCT Network Fall 1 Regional Support Sessions “Understanding the Process and Getting Started,” is the theme of the NCAE Fall 1 Support Session, which focuses on an overview of the four components, the Body of Knowledge, and content standards. Open to initial candidates only, the session will provide them with an opportunity to connect with a National Board Certified Teacher who is trained to coach candidates through the logistics of certification. Space is limited to 30 participants per seminar. The cost for members is $20 and $45 for non-members. Click here to register. • • • •

Region 2: October 6 -- Ibraham Elementary School, Winston-Salem Region 3: September 29 – Phillip O’Berry School, Charlotte Regions 4 and 5: October 13 – Southern School of Energy and Sustainability, Durham Regions 7A and 7B: September 29 – J.P. Knapp Early College, Currituck

NCAE NBCT Network 2018-19 Candidate Coaching Subscription Are you pursuing National Board Certification this year? Consider signing up for a Candidate Coaching Subscription! The cost of the subscription is $125 and can be purchased by clicking here. It includes: ü Unlimited attendance at regional support sessions during your candidate cycle (fall, winter, and spring). You will need to register to attend. ü Ability to attend NBCT informational webinars at no extra cost. ü Non-voting membership in the NCAE NBCT Caucus (until you certify). ü An assigned NBCT virtual coach. ü Early registration and a $25 discount for the NBCT Boot Camp (January 31-February 2, 2019) ü Additional gifts during the year. ü The NBCT Network Candidate Coaching Subscription covers an NCAE membership year. For questions, or more information, contact Angela.Farthing@ncae.org. To check out the NCAE NBCT Network, visit www.ncaenbctcaucus.com or www.ncae.org and look under the Learning Opportunities tab.

What to Do and What Not to Do! The beginning of school is filled with lots to do, everything from getting to know students to determining how the year will flow. To help make it the best one yet, the NCAE Advocacy Center has a few tips you as an educator should consider keeping in your information arsenal. If you ever have any questions or concerns, contact ASKNCAE.org or call 855ASK-NCAE to speak with a staff attorney. • Policies – Review your Employee Handbook and relevant school board policies, which can usually be found under the School Board tab of your district’s Web site. Ask for clarification as needed. • Leave Days – Whether it’s sick, vacation, or personal leave, know the policies on taking leave days. Review the North Carolina Public Schools Benefits and Employment Policy Manual and your local board policies for more information. • Social Media – Be careful about what you post on social media, especially when posting about your workplace. Make sure not to post confidential information or to “friend” students. Remember that Facebook privacy settings do not guarantee privacy. Review your district’s social media policies. • Political Activity – With the mid-term elections close at hand, many of you will be participating in activities to help elect our endorsed pro-public education candidates. Remember to engage on your own time away from school, and be sure not to identify yourself as an educator at a particular school when making political comments. • Documents – You are responsible for all of your professional documents. Be sure to read and understand your contract. Keep copies of your license, contract, evaluations, etc., in a safe place at home. Keep important e-mails in a separate e-mail folder. Send a confirming e-mail to your administration or colleagues on important issues. • Personnel File – NCAE recommends that ALL public school employees review their personnel files. You should: 1) Review the Contents – You might be amazed what has found its way into your file, or for whatever reason, is missing from your file. 2) Consider the Submission – If you notice that something positive is missing from your personnel file, such as an administrator’s letter of commendation or an article about your class in the local newspaper, you may submit it for inclusion. 3) Consider the Removal of Inappropriate Documents – Any complaint about a school employee must be signed before it is allowed into a personnel file, and the school employee must have had five (5) days advance notice of this action. North Carolina allows a teacher to petition the local board of education to remove “any information from his or her personnel file that he or she deems invalid, irrelevant, or outdated.” N.C.G.S. § 115C-325(b). 4) Consider Submitting Rebuttals in Response to Negative Documentation – If it is unlikely you will be able to remove a critical document from your personnel file, consider writing a rebuttal so there is a complete explanation of the event or issue.


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DEALS

2018

for NEA Members

Dates to Remember

NEA Click & Save “Buy-Lights” for September

• Office Depot – Need school supplies? Check out daily deals and save up to 50 percent. Earn 2X WOWPoints on your order.

N C A E

N E W S

Backpack Safety America Month Hunger Action Month Library Card Sign-up Month National Child Awareness Month National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

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NEA MEMBERS...DON’T WAIT IN LINE, SHOP IN THE COMFORT OF YOUR OWN HOME USING NEA CLICK & SAVE, YOUR MEMBER-ONLY ONLINE MALL! Register or Log in to NEAMB.com/clickandsave

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• Calendars.com – Get organized for the new school year! Peruse the world’s largest inventory of wall calendars, desk pads, and planners. Save up to 75 percent off select calendars and earn 5X WOWPoints on your order.

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Labor Day (NCAE Offices Closed) International Day of Charity International Literacy Day National Day of Service and Remembrance Patriot Day International Day of Democracy National Respect Day International Day of Peace First Day of Fall R.E.A.D. in America Day School Backpack Awareness Day

Browse websites of your favorite retailers, including apparel, electronics, movie tickets and much more

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• Samsung – Think beyond cell phones, TVs, and appliances and consider Samsung’s other high-tech electronics and digital media including tablets, laptops, and watches. Get up to 50 percent off on current deals and earn 2X WOWPoints on your purchase.

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• Reebok – Outfit yourself for work or play with highquality and durable clothing and footwear from Reebok. Save up to 50 percent on sale items, earn 4X WOWPoints, and get free shipping on orders of $49 or more.

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• eBags – Shop the world’s largest online retailer of backpacks, luggage, and travel accessories. Get up to 40 percent off and earn 4X WOWPoints on your purchase. Plus, get free shipping on orders of $49 or more.

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Getting ready for the new school year involves more than just stocking the supply closet! Check out deals on apparel, backpacks, footwear, electronic devices, and more. NEA Click & Save, the online discount buying service for NEA members, highlights select retailers and merchants each month. Check out these featured “Buy-lights” for September. • Old Navy – Find stylish clothing at reasonable prices for adults and kids alike! Save up to 20 percent off sale merchandise. Get free shipping on orders of $100 or more, and earn 1X WOWPoints.

Shopping can be a hassle, especially if you are short on time. Consider NEA Click & Save, the member-only online mall. Browse the Web sites of your favorite retailers and earn WOWPoints to use toward future purchases.

Earn WOWPoints to use towards future purchases Come back and shop often as new retailers are frequently added Share these benefits with 5 family members or friends

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Positions stated in this publication do not necessarily reflect the official position of NCAE unless so identified. The NCAE News Bulletin, a journal of the Association, is published by the North Carolina Association of Educators, 700 S.Salisbury St., Raleigh, NC 27601, 1-800-662-7924. Linda Powell-Jones, Editor/Designer

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NCAE News Bulletin September 2018  

The NCAE News Bulletin is the official publication of the North Carolina Association of Educators.

NCAE News Bulletin September 2018  

The NCAE News Bulletin is the official publication of the North Carolina Association of Educators.

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