HSEA - What's Up?
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HSEA works to connect teachers with teachers while advancing the profession of teaching.
August 2015....WELCOME BACK!
Words From Our President...
Renewal can take different forms. For example, my friend Kathi Vance experiences renewal during outings to the beach or hiking trails. She especially gets renewed during summer! In addition to feeling refreshed, your endorphins emit more energy for your enjoyment. Imagine what my life would be like with even more energy!
Renewal! You can renew your insurance policy. In fact, one of NEA’s partners, California Casualty will be contacting your Association Representative to set up a table in your building. You may receive a free quote and find a way once again to make your Association membership even less expensive through dollars saved at www.neamb.com. That same web site can net you savings with magazine renewal too through the NEA Magazine Service.
Renewal! Each year a new opportunity presents itself to renew your Association membership. Thanks to those who stopped by our table on opening day inquiring what they needed to do to renew. Imagine the smiles when they learned of their automatic renewal on day one! Thanks to those who renew each year and new teachers who join each year. We hope to wrap up our membership drive by August 28. Contact your Association Rep for help or answers to questions.
Renewal makes me think of library books. Renewal makes me think of avoiding library fines. I volunteered in the public library in high school. I lived for the day to work the machine to renew books. (I call it a machine as computers had not been invented!) Normally I spent my time “reading shelves” when I would have much rather been “reading books.” “Reading shelves” is library talk for making sure the books are in the correct Dewey decimal order. Renewing books involved stamping cards with a machine—high powered activity.
Renewal. I also experience renewal by having the opportunity to learn more. ISTA is hosting an exciting event for early-career educators on Friday evening October 30 and Saturday, October 31. This conference will involve training on a variety of topics. Meals are included as well as an overnight stay. This event is available at no charge to HSEA/ISTA/NEA members. Hurry and register at www.ista-in.org. You will need your membership number in which to log in to the web site and register. If you have been teaching for five years or less. . . or started teaching last week then this conference is for you. Early educators can experience renewal. . . even if just starting on the teaching journey!
Renewal. Sadly, I had to return my library books this week as I determined no time existed to read while papers awaited. However, I am pumped my Association membership renewed automatically. I hope that you experience renewal this year. Remember, you can always drink a V-8! Perhaps that will yield a sense of renewal with a dash of vitality!
Health and Insurance Updates.......
Words from Nancy McCool....
The month of August is our annual open enrollment period (for employees hired prior to 2015-16 school year) to make any changes with your life, health, vision and dental insurance plans. During this time, we recommend that you review the benefits you are enrolled in to determine if you would like to make any changes (you can check your paycheck stub on the employee self-serve portal to see your insurance deductions/what you are enrolled in) .
Effective date will be October 1, 2015, for any additions/deletions you make (first deduction/refund will be out of your September 15, 2015 paycheck).
If you want to enroll, and aren’t enrolled yet, in any of the insurance benefits available to you and your family please complete the attached appropriate forms and return to me before September 1st. If you wish to drop any coverage please send me an email stating so.
IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO MAKE ANY CHANGES, YOUR CURRENT BENEFIT ELECTIONS WILL CONTINUE ON AND YOU DO NOT NEED TO DO ANYTHING.
You better shop around......SHOP FOR YOUR HEALTH!
The NEA- AR Rally in Orlando, FL...OUR teachers working for YOU!
Words from Connie LaRocco - NEA rally goer,fellow member and Music teacher at LRE
Combat Zone, The Walking Dead, and Doomsday Preppers are just a few of the TV Reality shows that feature contestants/characters who take on brutal challenges to see if they have the skills, stamina, and fortitude to withstand whatever Mother Nature or Hollywood producers can throw at them. These shows pale in comparison to the reality of attending a NEA RA.
This summer I survived a week in the deep South at the NEA convention in Orlando. Not only is Orlando hot and humid; but it is the lightning capital of the world and you have at least one opportunity every day to dodge multiple lightning strikes. Though there was a daily UV index of "extreme", I didn't have to worry about that because I was up and heading to the State Caucus every morning before the sun rose, never later than 6:30AM and before 6 on the mornings I volunteered to help set up. I easily walked 10,000 miles every day, (if not miles, then 10,000+ steps), traversing cobblestone pathways between my room, the lobby, the conference room and the shuttle pick-up at our sprawling resort hotel; trudging up ramp and down to reach my seat on the RA floor from our shuttle drop-off in a neighboring county, (maybe a tiny exaggeration; but it seemed like it); walking around man-made barriers that prevented you from taking short cuts from the bathrooms to your seat on the RA floor; snaking my way through lines to cast my votes, (also in another county); and then at the end of the day when torrential rains would begin fall, (coincided most days exactly for an hour following the adjournment on the floor), I would "sprint" from the hotel shuttle drop-off that was far enough away from the lobby so I could get drenched and wet enough to avoid needing an evening shower. IF I had enough energy after that, I would walk with our fearless HSEA president and the other young whipper snappers in our delegation, ("it's only a 5 - 6 minute walk ") to a restaurant for dinner. When I finally returned to my room around 10 PM, I would drop into my bed while they would go back out to socialize with teachers from across the nation. No matter if delegates went to bed at 10PM or 1AM, they were always ready to get to work the next day when the gavel sounded at 7AM.
Now that I have set the scene for this reality show, let me describe the real challenges of this assembly. Picture 7,000+ educators in one room, ( this is more than both the Democratic and Republican conventions combined) trying to agree on 7 standing rule amendments, 3 constitutional amendments, 5 amendments to the bylaws, and 122 new business items. The debates were hot and heated as we struggled to make the right decisions that would affect students, parents, and educators. Representing the 3 million members of the NEA, we wrestled with issues concerning everything from the future of public education and high-stakes testing to civil liberties, racism, and the dangers of RFRA’s. We emailed and tweeted our congressmen to take action and to get NCLB correct this time. We listened to 3 short videos by 2016 presidential aspirants presenting their views on education in preparation for next year when we select a candidate to support. Our Indiana delegates alone contributed $220 EACH for the NEA fund, exceeding our goal of $185. This accomplishment was largely due to HSEA’s Deb Jackson, who was a
fantastic PAC leader; and she had great help from Ben Yoder and Janet Chandler as auctioneers for the beautiful artwork/pottery created and donated by Kim Quigley and Shelley Feeney. Indiana also met its 3-1-G goals, ensuring that we have a diverse delegation which reflects the state in which we live.
YES, I am a survivor of the NEA RA! I got up at 2 AM on July 7 to pack, hitch a ride on a laundry cart ( bell men are sensible and don't come on duty until much later in the morning), and leave sunny Florida as pale as the day I arrived. I didn’t see Mickey Mouse while in Orlando and my only thrill ride was on the shuttle bus during evening traffic; BUT I wouldn’t trade the experience of learning from retired members, being energized by the young student president from BSU, meeting teachers from around the USA, and attending leadership dinners with our ISTA vice president, treasurer, and executive director for a free ticket to Universal City and all day in the resort pool. I just hope I am selected as a delegate to the NEA RA in Washington D.C. next year and to survive what I am labeling “Battle on Capitol Hill!"
More from our NEA-RA rally from fellow teacher...Michelle Feeney, Art teacher at FCJH
My name is Michelle Feeney and I am an art teacher at FCJH. This is my fourth year being an AR for my building and it was my second time attending the RA. What an amazing opportunity! Being my second year of attendance, I was able to “relax” (if you want to call it thatJ) a little more and really take in all the new business items that were being voted on.
Many of the new business items directly relate back to our classrooms. The constant standardized testing that we put our children through, making sure that ALL students have the tools that they need to succeed, and making sure that educators are seen in our communities as professionals, and we are given the support we need to have successful classrooms. It is so refreshing to spend a week with such strong educators that are so passionate about issues that better education.
Attending the RA is such a great experience! It not only allows me to see a new part of the country, but it allows me to do so with some amazing people! It is great to see how passionate our HSE representatives are about the RA and what our union stands for. We are blessed here at HSE to have such strong leaders!! I cannot wait to stand strong with them in DC next year!
HSE NEW TEACHER BREAKFAST.....HOSTED BY YOUR HSEA
Becky Smith, our UniServ Director, giving lots of good info!
The candy "bar," was a favorite of all the new teachers! CHOCOLATE!
Callie Marksbary, ISTA Treasurer, welcoming all!
MEMBERSHIP.....MAKES US STRONGER!
Just a reminder that our fall membership drive is quickly approaching the end! Friday, August 28th, is our deadline!
If you have any questions - please direct those to Mary Carson or Deb Jackson! A HUGE thank you to them for all of their hard work with our membership drives! WORKING TOGETHER, MAKING US STRONGER.....LIKE US, LOVE US, BUILD US!
ISTA will hold at least two conferences this year. The first one will be held October 30 and 31 for early career educators. They recommend teachers attend with less than five years of experience. (If you have six years, you would not be turned away!) All events will be at no cost to you through your membership. I looked at the program—they have included some social activities including bowling and dinner on Friday evening with substantive sessions on Saturday. The conference concludes Saturday afternoon—plenty of time to get the little ones ready for the big night of Halloween! The other conference will be in March and open to all members.
The conference will be in an Indianapolis-area hotel.
Registration occurs through the ISTA web site. You will need your membership number to initially register on the web site, if you have not yet done so.
*If you click on the title above this article, it will take you directly to the link you need!*
This is YOUR newsletter too!
In the coming newsletters, remember, anyone who is a HSEA member is welcome to make a submission, or send information that you would like to see in the newsletter!
We will also be doing an upcoming "member spotlight," so, if you're interested in being our first spotlight, please let us know!
Send any submission, articles, etc. to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Look for our next newsletter in September!