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Top 10 NJEA 2017 Convention Highlights

Planning Your 2017 NJEA Convention Schedule? Here are the top attractions.

Planning Your 2017 NJEA Convention Schedule? Here are the top attractions.

There is so much to do at the NJEA Convention that it can be overwhelming, so it’s important to plan out your itinerary. You can’t do everything, so choose wisely. Whether you’re looking to rack up some good PD, discover the latest tech trend, or meet some new and interesting colleagues, there’s plenty to choose from. NJ Teachers’ Lounge has taken some time to look over the program and exhibits, and here are the top 10 NJEA 2017 convention highlights to help you make a plan.

1. The NJEA “Digital Booth”

Technology has been changing the face of education for years and those changes are speeding up. The NJEA hosts a “Digital Booth” to help teachers stay up to date on what can be used to enhance classroom activities. The NJEA is a BIG conference and the Digital Blvd packs a punch when it comes to the robust offerings it has for educators who are looking to learn more about technology in the classroom.

Teachers can learn about a variety of tech options including screen casting, virtual reality, coding, Google Classroom, 3-D printing, podcasting, broadcasting and so much more! Although this area will be hard to miss, make sure to add this to your calendar if learning about technology is for you (the NJEA Makerspace and the Maker Depot Academy Theatre, STEAM TANK Theatre and Code Combat) will be in this section)! Earbuds will be available to make sure you can hear the desired presentation without background noise from other presenters.

2. Art Gallery and Student Performances

Art lovers, you won’t want to miss the Art Gallery right on the exhibit floor which will be showcasing the artwork of public school students. To see the additional talents and skill of students, don’t miss the New Jersey All-State Jazz Ensemble and New Jersey Honors Jazz Choir. They will perform on Thursday, 11/9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Claridge Hotel. In addition, the New Jersey All-State Chorus and Orchestra takes the stage at 8:30 p.m. on 11/10 in Hall A at the Convention Center.

3. Visit The New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning on “Digital Boulevard”

NJCTL is dedicated to helping teachers lead public schools in making sure that all students have access to a high quality education. The NJCTL will also be on the Digital Boulevard. They will be offering 8 sessions at the convention. See page 19 of your program guide for more information.

4. County Teachers of the Year

They will also be offering several Professional Development sessions. Pick up a few tricks from some veteran teachers who have contributed something remarkable to NJ public education in the past year.

5. ESP-Educational Support Professionals

This group will have an entire Pavilion offering 30 sessions to ESP members (including para-educators, clerical workers, technical services, transportation, etc.). Whether you’re an ESP or just someone who really appreciates what they do, bring something back to your school from this great resource.

6. NJEA Preservice Educators

The Convention is always a great place for those just entering the profession. This year’s program features a session to help you get a job if you haven’t started your first full year yet. Learn the tips and tricks that can help get you hired!

And for those who have started their first year: Evaluations? SGOs? Lesson plans? Association involvement? Learn everything that you need to know to successfully make it through that first year. Come prepared with questions. First Year FAQ will be held on Friday, Nov. 10 at 1 p.m. in Room 312.

7. BE HEARD!

On Thursday from 3:30-5 you will have a chance to take part in a State Board Meeting and to ask your questions and bring your concerns about school policy to the forefront! NJEA Vice President Sean M. Spiller, the association’s liaison to the State Board, will moderate the panel.

8. Find your tribe: network with colleagues in your specialty

More than two dozen special sections of the NJEA will be hosting booths in the Main Street section of the convention floor at the NJEA. Groups include:

• N.J. State School Nurses Association
• New Jersey Science Teachers Association
• New Jersey Association for Gifted Children
• N.J. Council of Teachers of English
• N.J. Association of Middle Level Educators
• N.J. Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
• The Speech and Theatre Association of N.J.
• New Jersey Council for Exceptional Children
• Career and Technical Association of N.J., N.J. Cooperative Education Association, Education of Family and Consumer Sciences of N.J., N.J. Business/Technology Education Association
• N.J. Literacy Association
• Art Educators of New Jersey
• New Jersey Association of School Librarians
• N.J. Association of Learning Consultants • N.J. Association of Speech-Language Specialists
• Foreign Language Educators of New Jersey
• N.J. Council for the Social Studies
• N.J. Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages/ Bilingual Educators
• N.J. Association of School Psychologists
• Association of Student Assistance Professionals of N.J. • N.J. Cooperative Education Association and more.

9. Complimentary Breakfasts, Luncheons and receptions

It’s not all just work. Complimentary breakfasts, luncheons and receptions are offered for each county. See your program for times and locations for your county.

10. Keynote Speaker Mike Kuczala and Ilyasah Shabazz

Mike Kuczala will speak at the NJEA Convention at 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 10 in Hall A. Ilyasah Shabazz will speak at the NJEA Convention at 9:30 – 11 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 9 in Hall A. Read more about the keynote speakers on the website: http://njeaconvention.org/speakers/.

Also speaking will be the NJ Teacher of the Year, on Friday at 1:30 p.m in room 302. Award for Excellence: Patricio Molina will speak at the NJEA Convention on Friday at 1:30 p.m. in room 302.

There are also several other attractions you won’t want to miss:

• “The Awakening” is a multisensory learning experience that includes a walking tour (see program guide for details)

• Nicky Fifth books will offer you books to “jersey-up” your classroom, the NJEA store, 100’s of exhibitors with products and services to learn about and promotional items for you to take.

• And certainly, DON’T forget to enter to win the MANY great prizes…including a stay at The Grand Mayan Los Cabos, The Grand Mayan Nuevo Vallarta, or The Mayan Riviera in Mexico!

And for when you’re done on the exhibit floor, don’t forget about Convention After Dark. Visit www.njeaconvention.org or www.afterdark2017.eventbrite.com to register for free events that NJEA members are entitled to across Atlantic City. Must be 21 with proper I.D.

We hope you NJEA experience is amazing! Come visit us at Booth 2309!

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