Minnesota Educator November 2009 : Page 1
A publication for the members of Education Minnesota N OV EMB E R 2009 Mastering change What does change look like? The thousands of participants in the 2009 Education Minnesota Professional Conference came away from the two days of training, inspiration, networking and resource-mining with fresh perspectives on the changing face of education. For keynote speaker Ray Suarez, today’s immigrants and today’s knowledge economy mean that “teachers will determine how wealthy, coherent and sane American society will be later in this century.” Suarez, a senior correspondent for PBS’s “NewsHour” and National Public Radio journalist, is researching demographic and economic trends for an upcoming book. “There is, it has to be understood, a new America coming.” He noted that the current wave of immigration is bringing people to the United States from many more countries than did the “Ellis Island era” of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Conference, see page 3 INSIDE THIS ISSUE… Professional development and advocacy for public education go hand-in-hand, President Tom Dooher writes. Page 2 Meet the education leadership organization Phi Delta Kappa. Page 4 U.S. Rep. Tim Walz will kick off the Education Minnesota Political Conference’s training events heading into the crucial 2010 elections. Education Minnesota members from throughout the state will participate in sessions to learn campaign skills and form alliances to elect pro-education candidates. Page 5 Number of homeless students on the rise. Page 6 Education Minnesota’s K-12 Business Connection debuts around the state. Page 6 Delegate and student delegate information for the National Education Association Representative Assembly. Page 7 Filing forms for Education Minnesota elected positions. Pages 8 and 10 Activities and events for Education Minnesota members. Union Life. Page 10 Workshops and subject area conferences for educators. Opportunities. Page 12 LOOK FOR IT With Thanksgiving fast approaching, we are thinking turkey. Find the season’s most prominent bird hidden in this issue of the Educator to be eligible to win a gift card in the drawing from correct entries. When you have found the turkey, e-mail the page number where it appears along with your full name and mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline is Nov. 9 for entries. You must be a member of Education Minnesota to win. Congratulations to Wendy Ballou of Maple Grove! Her correct entry was drawn as the winner in the October contest to find the autumn leaf. It appeared on page 6. Thanks to everyone who played.
What does change look like? The thousands of participants in the 2009 Education Minnesota Professional Conference came away from the two days of training, inspiration, networking and resource-mining with fresh perspectives on the changing face of education.<br /> <br /> For keynote speaker Ray Suarez, today’s immigrants and today’s knowledge economy mean that “teachers will determine how wealthy, coherent and sane American society will be later in this century.”<br /> <br /> Suarez, a senior correspondent for PBS’s “NewsHour” and National Public Radio journalist, is researching demographic and economic trends for an upcoming book. “There is, it has to be understood, a new America coming.”<br /> <br /> He noted that the current wave of immigration is bringing people to the United States from many more countries than did the “Ellis Island era” of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.<br /> <br /> And because upward mobility is stalled, it will be far more challenging for new Americans to rise than it was when the economy demanded unskilled labor for an expanding industrial era and a high school education propelled a worker upward.<br /> <br /> At the same time more education is crucial , it is becoming harder to demonstrate to first - generation Americans that a college education will pay off for their children as a ticket into the middle-class.<br /> <br /> Suarez called for public education to invest early and adequately in today’s immigrant children , abandoning what he saw as the wrong-headed notion of applying equal resources in children who are advantaged and in those who are disadvantaged.<br /> <br /> His observations were tailored to Minnesota, where, he said, the proportion of new arrivals who come as refugees is much higher than in the rest of the country. Suarez praised Minnesotans as “a place ready to do the heavy lifting” of helping new neighbors who have fled war and other catastrophes to make new lives.<br /> <br /> Educators attending the conference demonstrated they are working on the challenges and seeing the opportunities Suarez described.<br /> <br /> The Oct. 15 workshop surveying Hmong, Somali and Latino cultures drew an overflow crowd. The session was presented by Neighborhood House, which has worked with immigrants and low-income people since 1897 in St. Paul to provide for basic needs and education. The professional conference session condensed material from Neighborhood House ’ scultural proficiency workshops.<br /> <br /> Discussion ranged from how to accommodate Somali students’ religious obligations to why some Mexican-American parents’ high esteem for teachers inhibits involvement in their children’s education and how Hmong attitudes about educating girls have evolved.<br /> <br /> An encore workshop described changes to support the unique difficulties of children in military families. The session, presented by the Minnesota Nation Guard Families Program, taught participants about how to foster resilience in students who experience their parents’ military deployments, often to combat zones.<br /> <br /> Among the more than 60 workshops on Oct. 15, it was clear that the changing face of education also includes rapid innovation in technology, from social networking to media management to exploring via Google Earth.<br /> <br /> An array of sessions looked at education from the perspectives of stress, self-care and working with student behavior problems.<br /> <br /> In counterpoint to highs tress , social-isolation trends, real world explorer Dan Buettner brought his investigations of human longevity to an enthusiastic audience. He described so-called Blue Zones, where people live remarkably long, healthy lives.<br /> <br /> On Oct. 16, educational consultant and leadership expert Charlotte Danielson opened the day’s presentations with an interactive talk about the essential impact teacher leadership brings to improving schools. Danielson also held a session with Teachers as Learners and Leaders professional development participants. TALL is celebrating its 10th anniversary.