Wednesday, August 27, 2008

ISEA's Disaster Relief Effort tops $40,000

In response to tornadoes and record-setting flooding across Iowa, Iowa State Education Association (ISEA) president, Chris Bern, announced that educators from Iowa and across the United States have donated more than $40,000 to the ISEA’s Disaster Relief Effort.

“The outpouring of support from education professionals, other state education associations, and local associations in Iowa and as far away as Florida and California has been tremendous,” Iowa State Education Association (ISEA) president Chris Bern said.

Created in response to the tornado in Parkersburg and later extended to educators in areas hit by flooding, the ISEA contributed $5,000 toward the start of an ongoing fundraising effort aimed to help educators who lost classroom supplies and materials that they paid for out of their own pockets. The funds will be distributed sometime this fall to local associations which will then decide how best to disburse the money to members.

If you want to contribute, please make checks payable to the ISEA and write "Disaster Relief Effort"in the memo line at the bottom of the check. Send checks to: ISEA, c/o Disaster Relief Effort, 777 Third St., Des Moines, IA 50309. ISEA members in need of disaster relief funding may fill out the online application by clicking here.

NEA Instructional Tools

In This Issue
  1. Order in the Classroom!
  2. New Teachers: Classroom Management
  3. 10 Approaches to Better Discipline
  4. Class Meetings
  5. The "Write" Way to Behave
  6. Education Votes
  7. Lesson Plans, Classroom Resources, And More

Sponsored By: American Public University
American Public University, regionally accredited by HLC, offers a variety of M.Ed. and other programs specifically designed for educators already in schools or those who wish to transition into education. Online, affordable, and conveniently schedule for the working professional. Empower yourself through APU.

Visit the web site!
    Let's be honest. Maintaining discipline is one of the biggest challenges educators face. But the good news is that we can help. Check out these resources full of practical tips and tools to get your classroom in order.
    It can sometimes take a few years for classroom management skills to jell, but the good news is that there are steps newer teachers can take to keep classroom management issues in check.
    All discipline problems are not alike. Effective teachers match different approaches to different problems.
    Patterned after family meetings in her own home, this 30-year veteran in the classroom established a format for class meetings that enabled her students to share their thoughts and solve classroom issues on their own.
    Having students write about their misbehavior is valuable for students and teachers.
    For an educator's view of the proceedings at the Democratic and Republican national conventions, visit Education Votes. Check out videos from NEA member delegates to both gatherings, and join our conversation on how this fall's election will affect teachers and support professionals and how each party is dealing with the issues of public education . . . or not.
Check out these articles and many more resources for educators at!

Sponsored By: American Public University
A Master's Degree at American Public University (APU) can help you increase your impact on student achievement, improve your earning potential and expand your career opportunities. Programs include: M.Ed. Teaching with a concentration in Instructional Leadership, M.Ed. Administration and Supervision, M.Ed. Guidance and Counseling, M.A. in History, M.A. in Humanities and more. Tuition is affordable ($825/course; no registration or application fee) and all class content is delivered online (M. Ed. practicum done at your school), so you can earn your degree while balancing other commitments. Courses start monthly. APU is a member of the regionally accredited American Public University System.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

NEA FOCUS: NEA Offers "Support Chain" for New Educators


NEA Offers 'Support Chain' for New Educators
Find out why having a basic understanding of your union, then building on it with personal involvement, are the first steps toward better working conditions, pay, and benefits. More

NEA Shares Principles to Improve NCLB
The No Child Left Behind Act established goals everyone supports: high standards and accountability for the learning of all children. But NCLB is falling short of its goals for many reasons. NEA offers principles for ESEA reauthorization, and we encourage Congress to listen to the voices of educators in developing legislative proposals. More

Teachers' Attire Should Impress Students, Supervisors
For an aspiring educator, knowing curriculum and classroom management aren't the only things that make you a teacher. You also need to dress the part. In many schools, dressing professionally isn't just a smart choice, it's a requirement. More

Hispanic Voters Rank Education as Top Issue in Fall Election
Find out why candidates’ ethnic backgrounds are less a factor than where they stand on the issues and how they choose to reach out to Latino communities. More

Maryland Affiliate Secures $40K Starting Salary for Certified Teachers
The Maryland State Teachers Association is a union driven by strong local affiliates. They attribute much of their local salary success to member organization, statewide and regional bargaining coordination, advance preparation for negotiations, and intensive training of bargaining teams on everything from the "nuts and bolts" to advanced topics. More

Here’s Help for Managing Student Work
Kathleen Marshall, a second grade teacher from Washington state, has a great idea for using multiple pocket folders to manage homework and notes to or from parents. More

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Starting School: Tips for Teachers from Teachers


Starting School and Eating Right
From Joanne Tickner (, a speech and language therapist for Midland Public Schools in Midland, Michigan:

"With the start of the new school year just a few weeks away, you can do yourself a favor by freezing some of your favorite dinners now. As you have (perhaps) a little more time now than you will when the year begins, simply double the recipes you make, and label and freeze for those nights when you come home late and are too tired to cook. It can make the stress of beginning a new year seem a little less. It can also help keep you from snacking on unhealthy foods if you know you have something prepared waiting for you at home."
Comment on This Tip
More Starting School Tips

Emergency Plans
From Ronda Christoph (, an English teacher at Pulaski School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin:

"Near the beginning of the year, I make an emergency lesson plan box. I use an empty file folder box. In it, I place a packet of work that will cover a block schedule period. I make enough copies for all my classes, including an answer sheet and detailed plans for a substitute to teach the worksheets in the packet. I then add a copy of my seating chart and class lists. I put this box under or near my desk in case I have an emergency where I am unable to make other plans. I let my department chair know about my plan box, so she does not have to suddenly create plans for my substitute."
Comment on This Tip
More Substitute Teacher Tips

Question of the Week: Using Humor
From the Works4Me Worker Bees:

"We've all heard the refrain, ‘Don't smile until Christmas.’ The idea is to establish classroom discipline early in the school year by being a tough, stern figure of authority. But there is another way. Humor can be a very effective classroom management tool. Humor can diffuse or de-escalate behavior problems, help students relax, and enable students to be more willing to experiment with new ideas and be less afraid to make mistakes. How do you create a classroom that encourages the positive use of humor?"
Send Us Your Answer
View Replies & Post Your Tip

Featured Post Meet Other Teachers and Share Tips in The Works4Me Lounge.

Survival Advice
Heard Last Week in the Works4Me Lounge:

"As college students training to become teachers, you can only learn so much. Reading books, listening to lectures and student teaching can only get you so far. It's a whole different ball game once you're alone with your students on that first day of school. What advice would you give to new teachers to help them survive their first day in the classroom?"

Comment on This Tip
More Professional Tips

Submit a Tip

We couldn't do it without you! Click here to submit a tip or reply to this email. Please contribute your own brief, practical, broadly applicable classroom tip to Works4Me. When submitting a tip, please include your full name, school, specific assignment (grade/subject), city and state. This newsletter is only as good as the tips we receive, so send your ideas today.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Take Advantage of NEA Member Benefits & Enjoy a Pizza Lunch on NEA MB

Nancy Haig of NEA Member Benefits is buying lunch for all of you who are interested in starting or changing over your IRA or other 403B programs to the NEA Member Benefits program. There was a change in the law last spring. Please make sure that your retirement savings will continue to grow.

Nancy represents NEA Valuebuilder and will be meeting at 11:00 on Tuesday in Room 403 in the High School. Please let your Association representative (see the sidebar for your building representatives email address) or Kim Muta know if you plan on attending by the end of the day today. We want to make sure we have enough pizza for everyone.

Hope to see you there.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

LCEA welcomes our new colleagues

We're glad that you're here at LC. We look forward to involving you in our very successful local Association. As you may have gathered, we are the voice for professional practitioners at Lewis Central and we look forward to your involvement in our successful local Association.

When we stand together, we become somthing truly mighty!

One in one-hundred Americans are members of the National Education Association. Our work together has benefited our students, our colleagues and the profession for generations to come.

You've no doubt been approached about membership. We are thankful that most of you have already signed up to be the newest members of the LCEA. We'll be contacting the rest of you again soon. We know that membership in our national, state and local Association demonstrates our professionalism. Join your colleagues in leaving our noble profession standing "taller" because of our efforts.

LCEA membership is rich with benefits.

A special welcome to our new colleagues:


April Gradoville, 1st Grade; Analise Letner, Kindergarten; Ann Nun, Kindergarten;


Andrew Brei, 2-5 PE; Deanne Dunphy, 5th Grade; Kristin Grandick, 2nd Grade; Ashley Smith, 5th Grade; Angela Wilder, 2-5 Counselor


Mary Bleth, Language Arts; Jennifer Buckingham, Vocal Music; Misti Groat, Special Education; Trudy Kimble, Language Arts; Tracie Meyer Special Education


Jess Bond, PE/Health; Gina Pearson, Special Education; Ryan Pivonka, Vocal Music, Kristine Rutledge, English; Jennifer Williams, ESL

We are ha
ppy to help you with the following electronic resources. Please let us know at if you want to know more about any of these tools.

LCEA Substitute Teacher Form for New Teachers

LCEA Beginning Teachers Guide to Evaluation

LCEA to Host ISEA Professional Development Academy Class in True Colors for Relicensure and Graduate Credit

LCEA Privileges Exclusive to ISEA Members

Other ISEA's Professional Development Academy classes available for Master's degree credit
Career Development, Performance Review & Intensive Assistance

Top Ten Ways for New Teachers to Survive and Thrive

Be Your Own Best Advocate

Order Form for ISEA's 'Framework for Understanding the Iowa Teaching Standards'

Use ISEA Access to Save Money

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Did you
know about these LOCAL savings available to you?

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There are 100's of more ways to save using your ISEA Access Card. Click here to check some of the savings out near us.