Arizona Education Association

Fall 2016

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FALL 2016 | ADVOCATE 9 Around AEA A s new employees start the school year going through district orientation and professional development, local associations worked on Back-to-School events to welcome the newcomers to the district. These events provide new teachers and classified staff an opportunity to learn more about their local association and meet their Association Site Representative. Local association leaders and members work hard to "roll out the red carpet" and make new employees feel welcomed and supported. Many employees take the opportunity to join their local association at these events to ensure their local association maintains a strong voice at the bargaining table and because belonging is fun! Welcome Back to School! "The themes in my note are that education is important, to always do your homework and that the good habits you develop in school now will pay off down the road when you get to college," says Ciara Montgomery, a junior at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. Larry Koenck, a retired elementary physical education teacher from Minnesota, and Roger Sharp, a retired math teacher from Indiana, were at a letter-writing station to encourage educators to become mentors to student teachers. "In our state there are new teachers who've never seen a raise, who've been flatlined and who need to feel supported or even more will leave the profession," says Sharp. "In our letters we're sharing our experiences as mentors and how gratifying it is to take these young people, who are so idealistic and enthusiastic, and help mold them into someone with the skills and professional commitment to be a great educator." At Samantha Mattingly's table, a group of student members were working on building a Little Free Library, a doll house-sized box that will stand on a post in a community that needs more access to books. "As educators, we are all about helping students get books they might not otherwise get at home," says Mattingly, who is the state president of the Iowa Student NEA Program. "This hands-on project is the perfect way to introduce future educators to how to lead hands- on projects in their classrooms, and by working with retired members, it's the perfect way to show them how being an NEA member is like being a part of a family."

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