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NEA Today August 2018

In this issue, we examine challenges facing education today, "hygge" in the classroom, the cost of education funding cuts, and some big educator organizing wins across the country.
NEA Today August 2018
Published: August 4, 2018

COVER: Challenges Facing Education Today

As demands on public school classrooms continue to grow, educators are standing up and speaking out. The nation is starting to listen.

Hygge: The Classroom Design That Means Calm
Centered around a cozy book nook, the design promotes comfort, togetherness and well- being.

The Cost of Education Funding Cuts
Lawmakers created the crisis, and lawmakers can fix it. Educators are telling them how.

Educators Advocate and Organize for Big Wins
Last school year, educators said “Enough!” and scored victories for students nationwide.

Hope for the Best
While educators can’t control what students experience at home, they can control whether students have hope, one teacher says.

RA Wrap-Up
Highlights from the 2018 NEA Representative Assembly, held in Minneapolis, Minn., in July.


Sherry Shaw Named 2018 NEA ESP of the Year
A special education paraeducator and coach, Shaw works at Tanaina Elementary School in Wasilla, Alaska. “I dedicate every moment I’m there to showing them love and what they can do without limits,” she says.

Issues and Impact

The DeVos Connection
As the November midterm elections approach, pay attention to these candidates who support Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ anti-public school agenda.

People and Places

New Yorker Melissa Salguero named GRAMMY Music Educator of the Year, and a look at the work of an athletic trainer.

Teaching and Learning

How one teacher helps students conquer anxiety; a mother helps educators who work with studnts with special needs; and an educator helps stunts uncover their special gifts.

A Note From the Editor In Chief

In the face of many challenges, educators remain determined to provide every student with a great education.

Lily’s Blackboard

During these times that test our values as educators and as citizens, educators are reminding the nation of the values and beliefs we all hold dear.

Health and Lifestyle

Arizona educator Audrey Cunneely says that participating in her state’s walkouts left her with lessons about how to stay healthy all year long.

Extra Credit
Crossword puzzlers  — have fun! 

Talk Back

No to Arming Educators

The real madness is thinking that arming teachers will automatically equal a safer learning environment. The incident in California on March 14 where three students were injured by a teacher during a gun safety course should give us all pause. This is a clear sign that even well-intentioned, well-trained gun owners can make mistakes. Bottom line, guns have no place in a classroom with children...Teachers no matter how well armed or trained, don’t have the particular skill set that law enforcement or the military are trained for, and prepare for on a perpetual basis. I’ve spoken with colleagues and the reaction is almost unanimous: teachers already have too many duties on their plate and adding “armed body guard” to their job description isn’t something they want or desire.


More Funding Means More Supports

Teachers do not have the time nor the training to meet the various personal needs of all students, not only because classrooms are too large but, because more children have different kinds of needs than they did several years ago. (“Funding Failures”) Schools now need more psychologists, social workers, special education teachers, and other specialists to meet the requirements of many students. Each year more students begin school unprepared for the discipline, values, and focus required for success and many have home lives that do not support success. The reason the schools that struggle are struggling is due to the lack of funding needed for these different kinds of supports.


Join the community of activists committed to advancing social and racial justice in public education

Ensuring opportunity for ALL students to succeed – regardless of ZIP code – is going to take all of us doing our part.
Professor speaking to class of students.

Protecting Our Students' Civil Rights

In the face of federal civil rights rollbacks and threats, educators, parents and students are organizing to adopt school board policies that strengthen student protections. Get inspired by educators and students making change in their communities and find model policies that will empower you to ensure all students’ right to a safe and affirming school.

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National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.