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NEA Today Magazine Spring 2017

This issue of NEA Today magazine discusses the impact of the 2016 elections on education, and includes features on teaching about climate change, design trends in schools, homeless students, and civics education.
Published: April 1, 2017

Cover Story

Stormy Weather
Learn how a storm that’s brewing in Washington, D.C., could affect public schools across the nation.


Rebuilding Hope in Homeless Students
Educator who has been homeless cheers federal law provisions that will help homeless students.

Education by Design
Move over traditional school buildings, and make room for new learning spaces.

Teaching About Climate Change
Dive in...use, three more timely tips.

Forgotten Purpose: Civics Education in Public Schools
Long neglected, it’s getting new attention.

Education Support Professionals

Meeting the Needs of the Whole Student
Meet Karyn Sullivan, Northshore Education Association (NSEA) board member representing ESPs, and NSEA President Tim Brittell (both shown at left) who helped bring two Washington state locals together to create bargaining power; and find out how school communities benefit when ESPs are fully included.


First and Foremost
Happy schools boost student achievement; educators help students spot fake news and think critically; ethnic studies gains traction; teachers continue to spend personal funds for supplies; and an NEA member’s new book examines racism.

Teaching and Learning
End-of-the-year tips for saving your sanity; how to watch your step on social media; Captain Underpants creator talks superheroes, good citizenship; and what it was like being a student with ADHD; plus teacher-to-teacher tips.

Issues and Impact
Educators mobilize to flip watch list’s negative intent; continuing the push for full funding of IDEA; a look at U.S. spending on public education; and educators nationwide give back.

People and Places
Teacher’s discovery leads to book series; Michigan educator helps students code, think, and plan bright futures; and school’s homeless liaison cheers promising new provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act.

A Note From the Editor-In-Chief
Despite anti-public school activities in Washington, educators will continue to stand up for our schools and our students.

Lily’s Blackboard
No matter how they’re cast, vouchers harm public schools

Extra Credit
A look at sports trainers and the value of athletic trainers

Talk Back

Addressing Student Trauma

Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading the “Winter 2017” issue! As a school secretary, I see the effects of trauma “This is Your Student’s Brain on Trauma” on our students and am going to ask my union for professional development (PD) for our members. Our teachers just had PD on this very topic and their feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

—Megan Steward

Attention: White House

Thank you for your excellent article, “I’m a Normal Kid,” (Winter 2017). Maybe a copy of the article could be sent to President Donald Trump. Like the article’s name, transgender children are just normal kids and your writing brings this out with strength and positiveness. I really admire Brian and all he tries to accomplish for his kids. It’s amazing he still has his job.  Keep writing investigative and advocacy articles.

—Gary Roberts

A Mistake, Not a Microagression

Having spent my entire adult life in the classroom, I have always made an effort to pronounce names of students correctly, whether they be minority, immigrant, English learning, or even ethnic ancestry names of Caucasian students. “The Lasting Impact of Mispronouncing Names,” (Winter 2017). Unfortunately, when mispronunciations of names occur, sometimes they are just mistakes. To automatically label them as “micro-aggressions” (a term made up by a Harvard psychiatrist), or “a tiny act of racism,” is just another example of turning mistakes into mountains.

—J. Spencer

The Real Meaning of Discipline

Children need self-taught discipline. “Which States Still Use Corporal Punishment?” (Winter 2017). And discipline, as outlined in Webster’s [Merriam Webster Dictionary], simply means “to teach.” Not hit, beat, paddle, spank, or cane, but simply to teach. If you teach a child to resolve issues without using physical violence, it is highly unlikely you would ever have to use corporal punishment against that child.

—Greg Larson


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National Education Association

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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.