V.I. teachers unions prepare for annual training conferences
Published: October 16, 2013
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ST. CROIX - The American Federation of Teachers unions in each district are getting ready for the annual Together Educating America's Children development conference following this year's theme, "Aligning The Curriculum While Elevating the Education Profession."
The full day of professional development training in each district is now in its 34th year in the territory, as the local unions celebrate 45 years of the organization.
The conference will be Friday at Educational Complex on St. Croix and on Monday at the Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School on St. Thomas.
Registration at both events will begin at 7:30 a.m. along with a complimentary breakfast on location.
Schools will be closed in each district on the days of the conferences to allow all teachers to attend.
The general assembly portion of the event will begin at 8:10 a.m., and the membership in each district will hear from some of their local union leaders, community leaders and national union representatives.
On St. Croix, event coordinator Shirlene Harvey said the keynote address will be given by Ann Claire Anderson, assistant vice president of Center for Occupation Research and Development.
Al Squire, AFT director of the southern region, also will be visiting the territory and will speak to the membership in both districts. Other guests will include representatives from the superintendent's office, Acting Education Commissioner Donna Frett-Gregory, Board of Education representatives and designated members of the 30th Legislature.
St. Thomas AFT Education Committee Chairperson Avery Lewis said the keynote speaker for that district has not yet been finalized.
Following the general session, professionals and support staff will then join individual break-out workshop sessions that will specialize on area that are beneficial for the teachers, support staff, paraprofessional and kitchen managers.
"We have about different specialized areas that they can chose from, and attend several of them," Harvey said. "Each workshop is designed to help them develop as a professional in their field or as an individual."
Harvey said the workshops are important parts of the annual conference that provide the professional training. She said many of the members use the certificates from the workshops toward their recertification efforts and others use them toward building credits for promotions within the department.
Workshop topics will include building with geometry, brain tools that tell teachers how students organize their thinking, transition to a healthy you, relaxation and distressing, common core, childhood obesity issues and resources, personal finances and presentations about cultural education and how it fits into the lesson plan.
Harvey said organizers are hoping that the union members will grasp new strategies and become more motivated and invigorated for the current school year and beyond.
Lewis echoed the sentiments, adding that there is always something for everyone to take away from the conference that they can bring into the classroom to help them reach more students.
- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.