AFTNJ begins process to provide Ida disaster relief

One day after President Joe Biden’s visit to flood-ravaged Manville, AFT, AFTNJ and NJ HPAE leaders on Sept. 8 held a virtual meeting to launch plans for providing financial assistance to New Jersey members who experienced property loss and damage due to Tropical Storm Ida.
AFTNJ President Donna M. Chiera said the criteria for the application process is in the works, and she will be using the federation’s Hurricane Sandy relief playbook as a guide.…

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AFTNJ looks to fill higher education VP post

Rutgers AAUP-AFT’s David Hughes recently stepped down as an AFTNJ higher education vice president, and AFTNJ bylaws outline the following procedures for filling any vacancies on its board:

Section 7: Vacancies in any other elected office except the presidency shall be filled by selection from the Delegate Assembly at its next regular meeting after due notice to all member affiliates.…

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Building a supportive classroom for teens and tweens

Providing support for teen and tween students can be a challenging task, “particularly for new teachers,” writes Tennessee high school math teacher Ty’ara Jones.

“The classroom should be a safe haven where students feel comfortable no matter their level of proficiency,” she writes for Edutopia. “It’s essential that educators build appropriate and trustworthy relationships with students, so that they’ll develop a passion for learning.”…

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ACE Engage workshop addresses inclusion for students with disabilities

Dahlia Shaewitz of the Institute for Educational Leadership will facilitate a two-part American Council on Education workshop about the need to create college and university campuses that are inclusive of all students.

As described by ACE, the Sept. 21 and Oct. 5 sessions will be “a deep dive into disability awareness that includes learning about disability prevalence, ableism and inclusion,” as well as “a discussion about the importance of disability diversity in supporting your equity and inclusion goals.”…

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Drive teaching and learning with an outdoor program

According to Mike Chapman, a former instructor with the Cadet Corps Leadership Program at St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C., “the greatest opportunity that the pandemic provided was the opportunity to teach — and learn — outside.”

“For example, at my school, we were fortunate enough to teach all of our classes outdoors for most of this past year,” he writes for Edutopia. …

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Empower students by having them co-create notes

There’s an element of risk involved when an educator shares classroom ownership with students, writes special education teacher Rachel Jorgensen for Edutopia.

“Teachers must let go of the expert role and understand that students do best when they have the opportunity to take part in meaning-making,” she writes. “Strategies such as co-created notes offer a structured approach to collaborative learning in the classroom, inviting students to work with their teacher to construct meaning from content knowledge.”…

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Resilience will be in the spotlight as new school year begins

The start of the 2021-22 academic year “will be an opportunity to impart a skill that will be important no matter where life takes [children]: how to bounce back from a difficult experience,” writes Newsweek’s Adam Piore.

He adds, “In the coming months, the actions of teachers — along with coaches, pastors, rabbis and, of course, parents — will be crucial in determining which children are able to emerge from the crucible of COVID having strengthened their resilience, an attribute that has been tested in all of us in recent months.”…

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College employees reevaluate their professional, personal priorities

Through recent interviews with about 60 current and former higher education professionals regarding the pandemic, the fall semester and their attitudes about work, The Chronicle of Higher Education was alerted to “a desire for long-established dynamics that have governed the relationship between colleges and their employees to change in ways big and small,” writes Lindsay Ellis.…

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Tutoring can serve as a bridge to teaching

Prior to being a tutor, Keven Tell says he had “never given a serious thought to a career in education.”

“Full- or part-time tutoring experiences could have a similar impact on others,” writes Tell, a public school teacher in Minneapolis since 2014, for The Hechinger Report. “In fact, tutoring might be one solution to help address the teacher shortage following the pandemic, while providing meaningful work for new college graduates looking to make a positive difference in the world — and helping students learn.”…

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Murphy humbled and honored by AFTNJ’s endorsement

On behalf of its leadership, AFTNJ President Donna M. Chiera on Aug. 24 formally announced the union federation’s endorsement of Gov. Phil Murphy for reelection during a gathering held at City Hall Circle in Perth Amboy.

“Rights for workers, rights for voters, rights for immigrants: That is what Gov. Murphy stood for and stands for,” said Chiera, after pointing out Perth Amboy’s connection to the Bill of Rights and its replica of the Liberty Bell.…

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Survey: Increasing diversity, fostering equity among college faculty’s top strategic priorities

Improving and increasing diversity placed as the top strategic priority among college faculty in a survey recently published by the Association of American Colleges & Universities.

Finishing second was fostering and ensuring equity and inclusion, followed by expanding and fostering global and community learning.

More than 700 higher education professionals from various campus roles and institution types participated in the survey.…

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Murphy issues vaccination, testing requirement for PreK-12, higher education personnel

New Jersey’s prekindergarten though grade 12 personnel and all employees at the state’s public colleges and universities must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18 or undergo regular COVID-19 testing, Gov. Phil Murphy said Aug. 23 during his media briefing.

“As we move forward over the coming weeks to implement this order, we expect that district leaders will work collaboratively and directly with local union leadership on smoothing out operational or other logistical aspects, especially if there’s a need for larger-scale testing of workers over the next couple of months,” Murphy said.…

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Forum covers ways to support college students

Beckie Supiano, a senior writer for The Chronicle of Higher Education, will be among the speakers Aug. 25 at a virtual forum about supporting student learning in the fall.

Topics of discussion will include the ways in which the pandemic has reshaped how faculty should approach assignments, assessments and grades.

To register for this Zoom session, which starts at 2 p.m.…

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