Now, More Than Ever, - Tennessee Education Association

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Now, More Than Ever, - Tennessee Education Association

Inside: Member Testimonials,Teaching Resources & More!Special Membership EditionPublished by the TENNESSEE EDUCATION ASSOCIATION • August 2011 • Vol. 43, No. 1Now, MoreThan Ever,We Arethe TEA.


teach (USPS 742-450, ISSN 15382907) is publishedmonthly (except for June, July and December) by theTennessee Education Association, 801 Second AvenueNorth, Nashville TN 37201-1099. Periodical postagepaid at Nashville, TN. The subscription price of $3.65 isallocated from annual membership dues of $254.00 foractive members; $127.00 for associate, educationsupport and staff members; $16.00 for retired members;and $10.00 for student members. Member ofState Education Editors Conference (SEE).Postmaster: Send address changes to teach,801 Second Avenue North,Nashville, TN 37201-1099.MANAGING EDITOR: Alexei Smirnovasmirnov@tea.nea.orgPUBLISHER: Alphonso C. ManceMANAGER OF COMMUNICATIONS: A.L. HayesTennessee Education Association801 Second Avenue NorthNashville, TN 37201-1099Telephone: (615)242-8392,Toll Free: (800)342-8367, (800)342-8262Fax: (615)242-7397Web site: www.teateachers.orgBOARD OF DIRECTORSPRESIDENT: Gera Summerford* (800)342-8367VICE PRESIDENT: Barbara Gray* (901)353-8590SECRETARY-TREASURER: Alphonso C. Mance (615)242-8392DISTRICT 1 Leisa Lusk (423)928-6819DISTRICT 2 Melinda Reese (423)587-2120DISTRICT 3 Karen Starr (423)628-2701DISTRICT 4 Jessica Holman (865)591-4981DISTRICT 5 Sandy Smith (423)991-8856DISTRICT 6 Beth Brown (931)779-8016DISTRICT 7 VacantDISTRICT 8 Kawanda Braxton (615)554-6286DISTRICT 9 Erick Huth (615)973-5851DISTRICT 10 Guy Stanley (615)384-2983DISTRICT 11 Melanie Buchanan (615)305-2214DISTRICT 12 Debbie D’Angelo (731)247-3152DISTRICT 13 Ernestine King (901)590-8188DISTRICT 14 Sarah Kennedy-Harper (901)416-4582DISTRICT 15 Stephanie Fitzgerald (901)872-4878ADMINISTRATOR EAST Johnny Henry (865)509-4829ADMINISTRATOR MIDDLE Margaret Thompson(615)643-7823ADMINISTRATOR WEST Charles Green (901)624-6186HIGHER EDUCATION VacancyBLACK CLASSROOM TEACHER EAST Paula Hancock(865)694-1691BLACK CLASSROOM TEACHER MIDDLE Alzenia Walls(615)230-8144BLACK CLASSROOM TEACHER WEST LaVerne Dickerson(901)416-7122STATE SPECIAL SCHOOLS VacancyESP Christine Denton (931)647-8962TN NEA DIRECTOR Stephen Henry* (615)519-5691TN NEA DIRECTOR Diccie Smith (901)482-0627TN NEA DIRECTOR Diane Lillard* (423)478-8827STEA MEMBER Caryce Gilmore (865)640-6590TN RETIRED Gerald Lillard (423)478-8827NEW TEACHER Candra Clariette (615)506-3493* Executive CommitteeTEA HEADQUARTERS STAFFEXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Alphonso C. Mance; ASST. EXECUTIVEDIRECTOR, AFFILIATE SERVICES: Mitchell Johnson; ASST.EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PROGRAM SERVICES: Carol K. Schmoock;ASST. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & TEA GENERAL COUNSEL; BryanMcCarty; MANAGER OF BUSINESS AFFAIRS: Stephanie Faulkner;INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SYSTEMS MANAGER, GalenRiggs; MANAGER OF UNISERV: Ronny Clemmons; MANAGER OFUNISERV & BARGAINING COORDINATOR: Donna Cotner; STAFFATTORNEYS: Tina Rose Camba, Katherine Curlee, Virginia A.McCoy; MANAGER OF GOVERNMENT RELATIONS: Jerry Winters;GOVERNMENT RELATIONS ASSISTANT: Antoinette Lee; MANAGEROF COMMUNICATIONS & GRAPHICS: A.L. Hayes; WEB MASTER &COMMUNICATIONS ASSISTANT: Tanya Ruder; MANAGING EDITOR& COMMUNICATIONS ASSISTANT: Alexei Smirnov; MANAGEROF RESEARCH & INFORMATION: Melissa Brown; RESEARCH &INFORMATION ASSISTANTS: Susan Ogg, Vacancy; MANAGER FORINSTRUCTION & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Terrance Gibson;INSTRUCTION & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COORDINATORS:Susan Dalton, Nicki Fields; COORDINATOR OF MEMBERSHIP & AF-FILIATE RELATIONS: Duran Williams.UniServ Staff Contact Informationcan be found on page 12.keep score.“Most studies have shown that classsize is not as direct a relationship toachievement as people have thoughtin the past…”Tennessee Governor Bill HaslamChattanooga Times-Free Press, June 1, 2011“I would prefer the full repeal [of collectivebargaining].”Sen. Jack Johnson, R-BrentwoodNashville City Paper, March 17, 2011“More than 50,000 teachers and education supportprofessionals across the state are the TEA. Their goals are ourgoals. We want to be treated fairly and to have what we needto do our jobs well. We owe that to the kids.”Gera SummerfordTEA President“I think people were like, ‘Where didthat come from?’ So maybe therewasn’t a chance to talk through whatwe were trying to do there.”Gov. Haslam on TennesseeLegislature’s attacks on teachers.Associated Press, July 11, 2011“At the top of that agenda was a ban oncollective bargaining for teachers. Whether Iwas walking into a restaurant, a business or achurch, more people spoke to me against thetargeting of teachers this year than anythingelse.”Sen. Andy Berke, D-ChattanoogaThe Tennessean, July 12, 2011“We are now showing what we cando. This year was just an appetizer.Next year, and in the years to come,you will see the main course.”Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey, R-BlountvilleMay 25, 2011“Make no mistake, the finalresponsibility is ours — and weare warriors… We will bend publiceducation to our awe, or break it allto pieces.”Sen. Jim Summerville, R-DicksonChattanooga Times Free Press, March 9, 2011“Gov. Bill Haslam’s openingstatement at a press conferencelast week on growth in studenttest scores sounded more like anapology than congratulations. Heand the rest of the Legislature oweteachers a big one after stabbingthem in the back this spring.”Sam StockardThe Daily News Journal, July 11, 2011Stand Together, Stand StrongPublic Education in Tennesseerose from the dreams of theTennessee Education Associationand its predecessors. It took ourAssociation more than 146 yearsof determined work, persuasionand political battles to get as faras we have.Throughout our history Al Mancewe met every challenge toTennessee’s boys and girls and the state’s future.The attacks of the majority of the 107th GeneralAssembly on teachers and public education lastKathleen Benedict, a high school languagearts and social studies teacher at The Learn Centerin Clinton, Tenn., and a 2011 recipient of the NEAFoundation’s Awards for Teaching Excellence (ATE),is one of 26 nationally recognized public schooleducators who spent 10 days on an educational andcultural tour of China, between June 22 and July 1.This is the first year that the trip has been offered tothe recipients of these prestigious awards.“It gave me the opportunity to see andexperience a culture I was not familiar with,”said Benedict. “I was able to visit schools, talkto students and teachers, and now I can saythat students are the same the world over. I feltcompatible with the teachers in China because theyare searching for better methods just like we are. Welearned so much from each other.”The tour of China, which included visits to schoolsin Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, providededucators with structuredopportunities to observe highquality instruction and interactwith Chinese teachers andadministrators. In preparation,participants completed an onlinecourse which provided them witha framework to contextualizetheir experiences in China by examining theimpact of China’s historical and cultural legacieson contemporary Chinese society and educationalsystem.“These hard-working and committed educatorsreceived this award in February because of theirefforts to strengthen their practice and to elevatethe profession,” said Harriet Sanford, President andspring are now a part of that history.We must now face the same question that ourpredecessors did in every age: Will we submit tothose who would kill the dreams of Tennessee’s boysand girls and the state’s future to satisfy their ownnarrow and selfish interests?Teachers, parents and citizens of good will havealways stood fast and fought against those selfishinterests.Now it is our time to fight for public educationand the future of Tennessee’s boys and girls. Standwith Tennessee’s teachers! Stand Strong!Al Mance is TEA executive director.Anderson County Teacher Tours SchoolsIn China on NEA Foundation Grant“I never thought inmy wildest dreamsthat I would climb theGreat Wall of China.”Kathleen Benedict at the gates of Beijing’s Forbidden City.CEO of the NEA Foundation. “We believe that theirobservations and lessons learned during the tourand visits to Chinese classrooms have deepened theircultural competency to the benefit of their studentsand colleagues.”Benedict said she was inspired by hergrandmother to see as much of the world as possible,but she never dreamed of goingto China because it was offlimitsto foreign travelers for along time. “I never thought inmy wildest dreams that I wouldbe able to climb the Great Wallof China or visit the SummerPalace and the ForbiddenCity,” Benedict said. In February, she will travelto Washington, DC, to train the next group of NEAFoundation grant winners before their trip.The NEA Foundation is an independent, publiccharity supported by contributions from educators,corporate sponsors, and others.Visit www.neafoundation.org/blog for moreinformation about the trip.Meet Stella Barnett,Author of TEA’s‘Ask Me Why’ Buttonteach: How did you come up with the ‘Ask mewhy’ campaign and what moved you to do it?Stella Barnett: I was just sitting in agroup talking about the legislature and I wasfrustrated. I thought: Why can’t people just askme why I’m a member? I’ve been down this roada long time and I’vewitnessed so manychanges.I’ve been teachingfor about 38 years.I believe in ourAssociation and reliedon it all those years.TEA’s support andadvocacy have beeninvaluable to me and Stella Barnettmy colleagues.What you believe in you support. Withteachers working together, and TEA workingwith us, we can make positive changes instudents’ learning conditions and teachers’working conditions.I’m a product of the collaboration, growthand development that TEA has afforded me as aprofessional. I’ve been an active member of mylocal Association, helping improve things in mycounty.Why is public education always the target forpolitical campaigns? I never understood that,and it pains me to see that teachers have beentargeted in the recent legislative session. Weshould continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulderand encourage each other to fight for what’sright for public education. We have a long haulahead of us because of the recent changes, butif we stand together, we’ll be successful in ourcause.Stella Barnett is a special education facilitatorwith Maury County Public Schools and a memberof Maury Co. EA.2 August 2011 Special Membership Edition3


Voice of Education SupportProfessionals asCrucial as Teachers’By Christine DentonNow, more than any other time,it’s important to be a member of TEAbecause you have a good backing,you have somebody you know youcan trust. Clearly, we can’t trust ourlegislature right now.We, the ESPs—not the people whowrote the laws—are the first oneswho greet the children inthe morning and thelast ones who seethem leave school inthe afternoon.Sometimes children can identify with aneducational assistant better than they can with ateacher, maybe because they feel more comfortable.Children should always know that there is someone at schoolthey can talk to.Students and custodians have a wonderful bond. It’samazing how quickly students bond with custodians. It’s justphenomenal.At the school where I work we have some students whoalmost never see their parents. When they leave for school, theparent is gone, when they come home, the parent is gone. Somestudents feel like they have no one, and we become their family.If somebody is being“Many ESPs andteachers feelbetrayed by thelegislators...”Christine Dentonbullied, they often talk to theteacher aide or the custodianfirst.In Clarksville-MontgomeryCounty, kids are often leftwith grandparents when bothparents are in the military.I was an army dependent, too. You learn to make friendsfast, otherwise you end up lonely.I feel that many ESPs and teachers feel betrayed by thelegislators who passed the recent changes in the law.A lot of our colleagues feel abandoned and some of themdon’t feel quite comfortable. Many veteran teachers realizedeeply what they lost, while some new teachers may need tobe educated because they came into a pretty comfortableenvironment, and now it’s gone. Now we must fight to regain it.Getting our people to vote is going to be a big thing. I’m nottalking about this side of the aisle or the other, but quite simplyabout electing education-friendly politicians.Christine Denton is a teacher aide and secretary at Byrns L. DardenElementary School in Clarksville and a member of the Clarksville-Montgomery Co. EA.10 Approachesto Better DisciplineBy Merrill HarminAll discipline problems are not alike.Effective teachers match differentapproaches to different problems. Below aresome approaches from Inspiring Discipline byMerrill Harmin that you may find useful.The Simple Authority StatementWith a simple authority statement,teachers can exercise authority withminimum distress and emotion. Byemploying this strategy, you also showstudents how a person can use authorityrespectfully and reasonably. The strategycalls for the teacher to voice disapprovalauthoritatively, promptly, and asunemotionally as possible.Redirect Student EnergyBy redirecting student energy, a teachercan end misbehavior without creatingnegative feelings. Instead of focusing onthe misbehavior, this strategy calls onthe teacher to turn student attention tosomething else, preferably something worthattending to. This is a useful approach whendirect confrontation is either unnecessary orimprudent.The Calm ReminderA calm reminder can help studentsunderstand what they are supposed to do, ina way that does not communicate negativeemotions.The Next-Time MessageA next-time message can correctstudents’ behavior without making themfeel discouraged. The strategy calls for theteacher to tell students what to do next time,without focusing on what was done this time.The Check-Yourself MessageA check-yourself message can remindstudents to manage themselves responsibly.The strategy involves the teacher tellingstudents to check what they have done,implying that when they do so, they will seewhat corrections are necessary. This strategycan be used whenever students becomecareless.Jonathan Johnson is a hands-on teacher. He didn’tshy away from painting his classroom at the beginningof the last school year or becoming an AssociationRepresentative (AR) when he was still without tenure atChattanooga Liberal Arts School.He wasn’t sure whether he would like being an AR,but as anti-teacher bills piled on in state legislature,he realized he was on the right side of history andproceeded to fight the good fight.What’s the difference between the past year andyour previous years of teaching?I am a lot more informed because Ibecame the Association Representativeat my school last year. Being in themeetings and hearing what’s going onwas new to me. Hearing from officialswho explained what their ideas werefor Race to the Top was interesting.Then, of course, we heard about the cutsand asked our legislators not to take awaycollective bargaining. It was good to take part inthe conversation, to feel that I have a voice.How do you feel about about the new laws?There’s a lot more work to be done. I want us tocome to some sort of agreement with those whooppose teachers and want to take away our rights. Itfeels like we’re playing a tug of war, but I wish therewas a lot more compromise, so that we could sit downand say, “Here is our plan and what is your plan? Let’sfind some middle ground.”Without collective bargaining, it’s going to be a lottougher to look for that middle ground. That’s where alot of work will have to come in.Some of those people who make laws aboutteaching don’t realize that they may take some powerfrom teachers, but they’re also tying teachers’ hands,keeping them from doing better work for the kids.Sometimes politicians get one idea in theirhead and run with it, ignoring all options. Then,four years into it, they realize that there was roomfor compromise. We live in a society of instantgratification.You don’t seem defeated or afraid of what’scoming.“We’ll Have to Fight to Get Our Rights Back”The Silent ResponseA silent response strategy gives students roomto solve their own problems. This strategy alsoprovides a way of avoiding hasty, inappropriateresponses. A teacher using this strategy reacts to anact of misbehavior by making a mental note only andconsidering later what, if any, action is appropriate.Clock FocusA clock focus strategy can settle studentrestlessness and increase student powers ofconcentration. The strategy calls for the teacher toannounce “clock focus,” a cue to students to standand watch the second hand of a clock make fullcircles, as many rotations as they choose, and then tosit and resume their individual work. The strategy canNo, I’m not. We’re supposed to protect ourselves.It’s a cycle, everything is a cycle, so we’regoing to have to deal with it for a while.They’ve taken some things from us,it was a knee-jerk decision, andnow we’ll be able to show them theresults. We’re the people who hireand fire the government. As soonas we realize that, we should electthe people who will change it. Perhapsthat’s the first step toward compromise.We’ll have to fight to get some of our rightsback, which might result in some good middle ground.It’s not the end of the world. A lot of my friendsjetted for Georgia as soon as this stuff startedhappening. I saw it differently.Can you talk about some of your recent teachingvictories?I did get my tenure, for what it’s worth. By theway, I didn’t even know I got it until I received mycongratulatory note from TEA.Also, 100 percent of my students were proficientand above in writing, and more than 50 percent ofkids were highly proficient in my class. As a languagebe used whenever students need to be settled down,particularly young students working at individualtasks.The Visitor’s ChairBy using the visitor’s chair strategy, a teacher canposition a student close-by without communicatingdisapproval. The teacher using this strategy asks astudent to sit in a “visitor’s chair” close to where theteacher is sitting or standing. Students know theycan return to their own seats whenever they feelready for responsible self-management.Honest “I” Statements“I” statements can help teachers communicatehonestly without generating defensiveness or guilt.Honest “I” statements also help teachers model aDo it yourself—Jonathan Johnson of Hamilton Co. EA feelsinspired by the hard work ahead.arts teacher, this was my most exciting news. My kidswere amazing and worked really hard through all theatrocious writing assignments I had to give.What’s your first response to teachers who askyou for help?“Let me look into that first, let us do someresearch.” This is usually the first thing I say. My localAssociation, HCEA, is very helpful, knowledgeable andon top of their game. Usually, an e-mail or a phone callresolves all questions within an hour.valuable interpersonal skill. The strategy calls for theteacher to talk honestly about personal needs andfeelings, making “I” statements, avoiding commentsabout what “you” did or “you” said. This approach isespecially useful when upsetting feelings emerge.The Undone-Work ResponseAn undone-work response is a useful approach forreacting when students fail to do required work. Ateacher using this strategy avoids a blaming responseand instead aims to create a growth-producingresponse. This approach can be used whenever astudent has not completed work on time.Merrill Harmin. 1995. Inspiring Discipline. Washington,D.C. NEA Professional Library.4 August 2011For more resources and training, contact TEA’s Instruction and Professional Development Division at 1.800.342.8367Special Membership Edition 5


PLEASE POSTWe are the Tennessee Education Association……promoting, advancing and protectingpublic education, the education profession,and the rights and interests of members.We promote opportunities forprofessional development.We seekcompensation and working conditionsnecessary to attract and retainhighly qualified education employees.We advocateautonomy, appropriate preparationand the highest standardsfor the education profession.We initiate, preserveand strengthen advocacy programs.We define and pursueimprovements and appropriate fundingfor quality public education.We strive to enroll themaximum membership potential andencourage greater member participationin our organization.Join UsTEA: Now More Than Ever6 March 2011 7August 2011 Special Membership Edition www.teateachers.org


Letter to a legislatoreducate.• Viviendo dentro de los límites —Practique vivir con un presupuesto. Enseñea los niños cómo vivir con su propio presupuestoy mesadas. Dígales que hagan doscolumnas: una para el listado de gastos otrapara los ingresos que reciben. En la columnatitulada Gastos haga la lista de gastosI am a Better Teacher Because of TEApor ir al cine, almuerzos, donaciones, etc.By Kelley KeyDebajo de la columna TEA Ingresos advocates for escriba: parental involvement and supports this cause monetarily“Name one thing TEA has done for students or student achievement recibidos for me, por subsidios, through mesadas, literature premios, and with resources available online.please. I would like to know. Their agenda is what is best for teachers. lotería, Looking ventas, trueque, TEA etc. supports Resuma teachers ambaswith Tennessee Space Week grants and Friend offorward to your reply.” — State Rep. Debra Maggartcolumnas y totalice. Education Luego compare. awards which Si los salute those who directly impact public education.ingresos son mayoresTEA questrives los gastos, improve mag-fundinnífico! Usted ha creado TEA unstrives estadoto próspero. improve teacher benefits in order to attract the best andfor public education.Dear Ms. Maggart,Supporting teachers directly impacts student achievement and Sugiera learning. un plan debrightest ahorro. to the education profession.Research shows that teachers are the single most influential factor in theI am a better teacher because of TEA and my students benefit from that. If youclassroom.Actividades con love Estudios children, you Sociales will love helping their teachers instead of undermining them.TEA supports new teachers through “I Can Do It!” workshops where they can Working together is the only way to improve education. I feel that your comments• Amplíe sus horizontes — Ayude a sulearn best teaching practices and classroom management skills. Professional are way off the mark. Having to address misinformation such as this is simply ahijo(a) a aprender más acerca de los diferentespaíses. Sugiera conversar con gentesgrowth opportunities are provided for experienced teaching professionals as huge waste of everyone’s valuable time.well.Kelley Key teaches at City Park Elementary in Athens and is co-president of Athens EA.de otros lugares, lea acerca de otras culturasen libros de la biblioteca, mirando programasespeciales en la TV, navegando la redelectrónica u obteniendo un amigo a distancia LOST IN SPACE?(penpal).• Que su voz sea oída — Promueva buenosactos civicos. Ayude a su hijo a escribir cartasal editor del periódico acerca de aspectosque afectan a los niños. Por ejemplo lanecesidad de caminos para ciclistas, eventoscivicos para los niños, centro de patinajeo rodaje en tablas hawaiianas. Pensar ennecesidades que tienen los niños y ofrecersoluciones.Actividad de Salud• Ejercicios para la buena salud — Déénfasis al valor del ejercicio. Haga que suhijo haga ejercicio , al menos una vez al día.Por ejemplo haga unas carreras una vez pordía. Haga que su joven haga un plan deacción y siga ese plan. Ofrezca premios porseguir al plan. Repita la siguiente semanahasta que se forme un hábito.Instruir a Nuestros NiñosInvolucrar a Nuestros PadresApoderar Nuestras Escuelas801 Second Avenue North | Nashville, Tennessee 37201-1099615.242.8392 | 800.342.8367 | Fax: 615.259.4581www.teateachers.orgCome back to Earth.Apply for TEA’sTennessee Space WeekLearning Grantby September 23, 2011www.teateachers.org08-065PODER DELOS PADRESGrados 6 – 8Durante los años de adolescencia, la guíade los padres es especialmente importante;los padres son los primeros modelosque los niños tienen y continúanteniendo oportunidades que pueden influenciaro impactar sus comportamientos.Aquí hay algunos retazos de lecturas,escritos, matemáticas, estudios sociales,salud y hogar.(Parent PowerGrades 6 – 8)Parent Brochures OfferHelp Outside of SchoolParents are a child’s first – and most important – teacher.More parents feel overwhelmed these days. But fear not!TEA can help you engage the parents in your classroom.Developed by experienced educators, our parent brochures andfliers provide practical information and fundamental tools toencourage any child’s success in school and at home.Now available in Spanish, brochures can be dowloaded inelectronic form from the Parent Center at www.teateachers.org.Need single hard copies or bulk quantities? Just fill out theorder form online.engage.Rain Coats, Bootsand UmbrellasUnicoi County High Schoolteachers reflect onTEA rally held in NashvilleOn March 5, 2011“People stop. In the middle of a busy Nashville street, they get out of their cars andapplaud. They support me. They support us. They support teachers and our cause.Why am I here? What do I hope to accomplish by walking in the rain to the Capitol ofour state and using my voice?I am angry and upset. I want justice. I want someone, somewhere to understand that Iget up every day and devote every ounce of energy to America’s youth and I want someoneto appreciate me. I want someone to notice.I know that my students are in school today. Some of them are wearing shirts in honorof us. I receive texts and Facebook messages thanking me for what I do. All of a sudden,it is all worth it and I know I will march on. I will stand up for myself andmy fellow teachers in my school, in my county, in my state and in mycountry. It is my right and my obligation.”Lynn Honeycutt, German and AP History Teacher, Unicoi Co. EA.“Attending the TEA rally in March was both frustrating andinspiring. It was and is frustrating because those who know littleto nothing about education are making choices that will greatlyimpact all teachers and students. Although I am very frustratedwith many of the bills being passed and decisions being made, Icontinue to be inspired by the unity shown by Tennessee’s teachers atthe rally.It was wonderful to see teachers taking a stand together because unity is the only wayto ensure that our voices are heard. I also felt very supported by other members of thepublic that were not teachers. There were many people who stopped their cars just to clapor stand in support of the teachers and our rally.”Misty Bishop, English Teacher, Unicoi Co. EA.“I remember lots of rain boots, rain coats and umbrellas. They truly representTennessee educators who attended the rally on that rainy and cold day in March.Teachers think and plan ahead. Teachers like to have a strategy. Whether we areworking with a struggling student or planning to hike to the state capitol in the rain,we know what we need to get the job done and what we need to do to stand up for ourstudents, our schools and our communities. We know when we need our battle gear—rainboots, coats and umbrellas.I have never seen so many rain boots and umbrellas in one place in my entire life. Itwas beautiful.”Lori Ann Wright, Theatre Arts Teacher, Unicoi Co. EA.8 August 2011 Special Membership Edition 9


TEA Builds BondsLawmakers Don’tUnderstandBy Nancy HollandThe politicians whohope to destroy theTennessee EducationAssociation don’tunderstand what TEAreally is.A few years ago, oneof my students was takeninto state custody andtransferred to anotherschool. I was concernedbecause this girl was agood kid. I didn’t want the circumstances of thisgirl’s life to diminish her potential. I contacted ateacher at the girl’s new school, Mrs. Gilliam, whomI knew through our mutual involvement in TEA.Mrs. Gilliam befriended this student, even thoughshe didn’t teach the grade the student was in. Thefollowing year, when this student was a high-schoolfreshman, she went back to visit Mrs. Gilliam.A few years after that, I learned that this studenthad graduated.My involvement“I didn’t want thecircumstances of thisgirl’s life to diminishher potential.”Nancy Hollandin TEA allowedme to help thisstudent in amanner I wouldn’thave been able todo otherwise.The bonds ofthe association extend beyond our professionallives. When I was flooded out of my house, I receivedsome grant money to help pay utility bills from afund established by TEA. When my father died, Ireceived a card from the TEA president and my localassociation vice president.There’s a reason why we call ourselves anassociation: We built relationships that sustain uspersonally as well as professionally, thereby enablingus to do our jobs well.These relationships won’t be destroyed by thestate legislature.Nancy Holland is a reading specialist at CameronMiddle School in Nashville and a member of MetroNashville EA.empower.No stone left unturned—TEA Vice President Barbara Gray (left), TEA board member and Robertson Co. EA memberLarry Proffitt, Dorcel Benson of Metro Nashville EA, Kim Holmes of Sumner Co. EA, Jennifer Eilender of OvertonCo. EA, and Garry Carroll of Hardeman Co. EA meet with Sen. Lamar Alexander’s staffer David Cleary regarding thereauthorization of No Child Left Behind, one of many national-level advocacy meetings held by TEA members.Tennessee’s Teachers Address Needs of Rural Schools,Other NCLB Concerns With Sen. Alexander’s StaffWhen Larry Proffitt talks about the Aprilmeeting with U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander’s staff,he says it’s not the intricacies of current politicaldiscourse that come to mind, but the lessonAlexander learned when he was Tennessee governor.Shortly after the six-member group of TEAmembers walked into Alexander’s Nashville officein late April to discuss the reauthorization of thenotorious No Child LeftBehind law, one of theteachers opened a coffeetablebook in the officewaiting area.“And there it was,Lamar’s admission that hisbiggest disappointment asTennessee Governor wasnot finding a better wayto work with the TEA,” said Proffitt, who teacheslanguage arts at Greenbrier Middle School inRobertson County.“I just found it interesting that in hindsight,politicians are willing to admit that collaborationwith teachers always works for the benefit of ourSen. Alexander: His biggestdisappointment as TennesseeGovernor was “not finding a betterway to work with the TennesseeEducation Association.”state and the nation,” Proffitt said. “Our voices areheard in Washington, DC. Perhaps some of our statelegislators should ask Sen. Alexander for advice.”Not surprisingly, Alexander’s staff sees eyeto-eyewith Tennessee’s teachers when it comesto defining federal government’s proper role withregard to education policy.Alexander’s staffer David Cleary said during themeeting that the Senatorsupports the movementaway from a punitiveaccountability model andtoward directed servicesto schools ranked in thelowest five percent ofachievement.TEA members stressedthe need for establishingcomplete wrap-around services for schools targetedfor low performance by any adopted yardstick,revisiting class size considerations for such schoolsand requested special attention to the unique needsof rural schools. NCLB reauthorization now appearsto be delayed until after the 2012 election.Former TEAPresident Electedto NEA Top PanelFacing unprecedented attackson their rights and profession,thousands of National EducationAssociation (NEA) members fromacross America elected Tennesseeteacher and former TEA presidentEarl Wiman to the NEA ExecutiveCommittee during the NEARepresentative Assembly (RA) inJuly. The nine-member executivecommittee is the governing bodythat oversees the 3.2 millionmembernational Association.“I am humbled to receive thisvote of confidence from my peers,”said Earl Wiman. “Every studentdeserves great public schools and Iam honored to work on behalf of anadvocacy organization like TEA andNEA that are responsible for makingthat vision a reality.”A former kindergarten teacher,principal and media specialist whocurrently works for MetropolitanNashville Public Schools, Wimanwill begin serving his three-yearterm on the Executive Committeethis July.“Now more than ever we needEarl’s voice and endless energy topush back against the coordinatedattacks on public education andworking families across America,”said NEA President Dennis VanRoekel. “I am confident he willdraw on his more than 30 years ofexperience as a classroom educatorand Association leader to continueto deliver on the promise of greatpublic schools for every student.”Nearly 9,000 educators fromevery state attended NEA’s AnnualMeeting and RepresentativeAssembly. The RA is the topdecision-making body for the 3.2million-member NEA. Delegates setAssociation policy and addressedissues facing schools, students andthe teaching profession.Early Enrollment Flyer:Layout 1 7/18/2011 3:36 PM Page 1 Member 10 August 2011 Special Membership Edition 11

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