NJEA Convention brings education opportunities…and a long weekend

Why do we get that long weekend in November? Turns out, it’s for the teachers.

Alexandra Hascek, News Writer

Many students around New Jersey are getting excited about the upcoming four-day weekend, but what is the real reason behind having this break? While students get a few extra days off, some of the school staff will not. During this long weekend, the New Jersey Education Association Convention will take place for teachers and other educators from around the state. The NJEA will gather with educators from this Thursday through Saturday in the Atlantic City Convention Center.

The NJEA, the state’s largest teacher’s union, was first established in 1853. According to the NJEA’s website, the first convention for teachers was held in the same year, in New Brunswick’s Bayard School. The NJEA has been an integral part of the teaching profession in New Jersey, mandating things like a minimum teaching wage and the first sick leave law in the state. 

Many teachers attend the convention at some point in their careers. If they are not attending in person, teachers can still be involved by attending one of their many virtual workshops. During this time, different classes and seminars will be taking place to better the education system. There will be almost two hundred different workshops available at the convention, with another eighty workshops available online. 

“This convention provides first-class professional experiences for educators of every job description, whether your work finds you in the classroom, the main office, the school bus, the cafeteria, the front door, the hallways and grounds, or anywhere else where NJEA members serve New Jersey’s 1.4 million students,” as stated from the NJEA Convention website

This year’s theme going along with the convention is “Learning. Equality. Justice.” which will be represented throughout many of the different seminars and will also be included during the guest speakers’ speeches. 

For educational staff and other jobs around and inside the school, attendance for the NJEA convention is not mandatory. Many teachers gladly take the extra break along with the students. 

RV teachers were polled last week concerning their experiences with the convention. Out of the 37 teachers who participated, 48.6% of them said that they have never attended the NJ Teacher Convention in Atlantic City. However, many other teachers do attend and continue to go back, with 52.6% out of the 19 staff members who responded saying they have attended, said that they have gone two to three times to this convention. The majority of this same group have also described it as being “somewhat beneficial.” 

With the long four day weekend quickly approaching, students will have the option to sleep in all while teachers have the opportunity to better themselves as educators and their teaching skills.