Monday, June 28, 2010

Learning Teams and the Future of Teaching

by Tom Carroll & Hanna Doerr

Learning is no longer preparation for the job, it is the job. In a world in which information expands exponentially, today’s students are active participants in an ever-expanding network of learning environments. They must learn to be knowledge navigators, seeking and finding information from multiple sources, evaluating it, making sense of it, and understanding how to collaborate with their peers to turn information into knowledge, and knowledge into action.

What does this mean for teachers? It means that they should be constantly learning with and from accomplished colleagues and experts in the field, modeling for their students the collaborative learning and knowledge construction that is at the core of 21st-century competencies.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Teaching Secrets: Phoning Home

By Kenneth J. Bernstein

With the school year just ended, it may seem odd that I’m already thinking of the beginning of the next. As a teacher, I can’t help but look forward, wanting to apply what I‘ve learned in the past year and make changes to be more effective for my students.

Yet there’s a regular part of my teaching routine that I know I will not change. By the end of the second week—earlier, if possible—of school, I call the parents or guardians of every one of my students. I teach high school, and I often start the year with more than 180 students, so calling home is a time consuming process. It’s also one of the most important things I do as a teacher. Let me explain.

NEA Education Insider Urgent Alert: June 23, 2010


The House of Representatives is expected to vote very soon on funding to save educator jobs. We need your help TODAY to make sure this urgent relief passes. Several of us have called Representative King's office to let him know that "education is the best form of economic development" in our state. When our country was in a Depression, we sent our students to school each day. Now is not the time to forsake our commitment to the cornerstone of democracy.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Works for Me: Tips by Teachers for Teachers 6/21

Directly subscribe to Works for Me
Browse ALL the tips from over the years
Share and Discuss with Colleagues from around the nation
Send NEA and colleagues your TIPS


Making Vocabulary Come to Life
From Barb B.:

“This year, I borrowed an exercise from the drama department to use as a vocabulary tool. Students performed improv (drama and comedy) to illustrate new vocabulary words. One prompt was.. ‘You are on an airplane and you meet a new person. As you are sharing your life story, use 10 vocabulary words.’ We also used a round-the-room kind of improv where each successive student had to talk about a vocabulary word. Each new student started the monologue with the next letter in the spelling of the vocabulary word. To me, this exercise seemed just like many of the other activities that we had done during the year, but when we added the dramatic features such as using a sad voice when you talk, pretend you are driving the car while you are talking, etc., it really came alive for the kids.”


I have been teaching at my school for 18 years. My school is in a poor district that has not passed a levy for new money in 15 years. Professional development was cut by 65% and we also face material budget cuts. A ban on buying new text books is in effect for the next 10 years, and some departments are getting short of books. A levy that could pass this fall will cut all AP and psychology classes, the vocational electives (industrial tech classes, Family and Consumer Science, and career classes), agricultural education, and an award-winning ROTC program. Our school is 10-25% special education, and the special education teachers worry about what their students will take for classes. More students will be in study hall, and the students who do better with hands-on classes are being left behind. All of our jobs could be cut this summer. – Karin from Ohio

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Supreme Court Will Not Hear No Child Left Behind "Unfunded Mandates" Case.

The AP (6/8) reports that "the Supreme Court has turned away a challenge by school districts and teacher unions to the federal No Child Left Behind law." The lawsuit, School District of Pontiac, Mich. v. Duncan, "questioned whether public schools have to comply with requirements of the law if the federal government doesn't pay for them. A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit and a federal appeals court split 8-8, leaving the judge's ruling in place."

Saturday, June 5, 2010

NEA Education Insider: June 4, 2010


I work in a rural school district where 60+ layoffs have occurred in the last two academic years. Our children won’t have an opportunity to maximize their potential unless this insanity stops. Children are our future doctors, accountants, brick layers, scientists, auto mechanics, and social workers. The global economy requires that we compete; doing so requires dedication to the task. Dedicated teachers and counselors and paraprofessionals make a difference in the lives of children every day. Don’t allow even one to child suffer because of this economic downturn! – Louise in Arizona

Thursday, June 3, 2010

N.C.'s Perdue, Obama Official Push for School Funds

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan warned on Thursday that without federal funds, hundreds of thousands of teachers will be laid off in the coming weeks.

Some 300,000 teacher jobs are at risk nationwide as recession-hit state and local governments struggle to meet requirements to balance their budgets, Duncan said. Layoffs seem likely without federal support, he said during a visit to Southern High School in Durham, with North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue and Democratic U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Business Letter Review

From Judy Perlis, a Works4Me subscriber:

“My students write to me in business letter format telling me what grade they deserve and why, according to what they've learned. They are required to include all of the steps of the writing process. I post the assignment in the form of a business letter to them at the beginning of the year, so they have the whole year to think about it. Their grades are pretty close to my own, and I count the assignment heavily.”

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Evaluation Procedure, Article I MASTER CONTRACT


Evaluation Procedure

A. The responsibility for determining the efficiency and effectiveness of the employee is one of the primary obligations of management, within its larger public duties to insure the optimum efficiency of the educational enterprise.

Grievance Procedure, Article II MASTER CONTRACT


Grievance Procedure

A. Definitions

1. Grievance. A grievance is a claim by an employee, a group of employees, or the Association that there has been a violation, misinterpretation, or misapplication of any provision of this Agreement.

Grievance Form, Appendix A MASTER CONTRACT




Level 2: Date Filed

Employee Hours, Article III--MASTER CONTRACT


Employee Hours

A. Length of the Day. All full-time employees covered under this contract shall work eight hours per contract day including a duty-free lunch period. Part-time employees' working hours will be set by the building principal.

Seniority, Article IV MASTER CONTRACT


A. Definition of Seniority. Seniority for the purposes of this Agreement shall be based on the date of the beginning continuous full-time employment as an employee in this school district. Part-time employees shall be considered full-time employees, for the purposes of this Article, and seniority shall accumulate on a pro rata basis. If two or more employees have the same number of years of continuous full-time employment within the district, the employee who signed his/her contract of employment first shall be considered most

Staff Reduction, Article V MASTER CONTRACT

Staff Reduction

A. The Board shall have the right to determine when it is necessary to have a reduction in staff and shall have the right to determine which positions shall be reduced.

B. Procedures. When the Board determines a reduction in staff is necessary, the following procedures shall be followed:

Leaves of Absence, Article IV MASTER CONTRACT


Leaves of Absence

A. Sick Leave

1. Sick leave shall be that specifically indicated by State law as follows:

The school district will provide sick leave as directed by State Law--ten (10) days for the first year of employment within the district, eleven (11) days for the second year, twelve (12) days for the third year,

Transfer Procedures, Article VII MASTER CONTRACT


Transfer Procedures

A. Voluntary Transfers.

1. Definition. The voluntary change or movement of an employee to a different attendance center.

2. Notification of Vacancies. Teacher vacancies will be posted in the faculty workroom at every attendance center when they occur and updated approximately every two weeks until the close of school.

Vacations & Holidays, Article VIII MASTER CONTRACT


Vacations And Holidays

A. In-School Work Year.

1. Regular Contract. The in-school work year for employees contracted on a nine month basis shall not exceed one hundred ninety-two (192) days.

2. Definition of In-School Work Year. The in-school work year shall include days when pupils are in attendance, orientation days and any other days on which employee attendance is required.

Insurance, Article IX, MASTER CONTRACT



A. Health, Major Medical, and Disability. The Employer agrees to provide all eligible full-time employees with either full paid single insurance protection or sixty-five (65) percent toward the cost of dependent insurance protection. The employee may choose either a $500 or $1000 deductible. The Employer contribution for employees working 60% time or less will be on a pro-rata basis according to the amount of time worked. The Employer will provide long term disability insurance for all employees. The District may select the carrier, however, if there is a change in carrier the total benefits for health, major medical and disability shall be equal to or better than the total benefits existing in the previous contract.

Payroll Deduction, Article X MASTER CONTRACT


Payroll Deductions

A. Authorization. Any employee covered by the Master Contract may sign and deliver a notice to the Lewis Central Education Association and thereby authorize a payroll deduction of profession dues. Each year the Association shall provide the District Personnel Office with an authorized list of members for whom dues are to be deducted each month and the amount to be withheld for each member.

Wages & Salary, Article XI MASTER CONTRACT


Wages and Salaries

A. Schedule.

1. The salaries of all employees are covered by the regular salary schedule set forth and attached hereto. The base salary will increase by 325 to $28,060.

2. A combined salary schedule that will have an operating base of $28,060. The amount of the teacher salary supplement included on each step of this new schedule was determined according to the formula agreed upon by both parties.

Extra-Curricular Activity Pay, Article XII MASTER CONTRACT


Supplemental Pay

A. Extra-Curricular Activities.

1. Approved Activities. The Board and the Association agree that the extra-curricular activities listed in the attached schedule are official school-sponsored activities.

2. Rates of Pay. Employee participation in extra-curricular activities which extend beyond the regularly-scheduled in-school day shall be compensated according to the rate of pay or other stipulations as in the Schedule which is attached hereto. Up to nine (9) years prior experience credit may be granted to employees

Safety Clause, Article XIII MASTER CONTRACT



A. Compliance: The District has the responsibility to comply with all Occupational Health and Safety laws and regulations in the maintaining a safe workplace.

B. Notification: Whenever an employee observes or otherwise becomes aware of an unsafe or hazardous condition or circumstance in the workplace, he/she has the responsibility to notify the superintendent of schools or designee immediately.

MASTER CONTRACT Table of Contents


NOTE:  The posts that follow are organized in the same order as this table of contents.



A. Definitions 2
B. Procedures 2