Since I was at convention, I wanted to check out a couple of workshops.  When deciding on what to take, I picked ones that I have an interest in and ones that fit my personality.  Well times are are tough and money is tight,  so I picked Grant Writing: Finding Funds in a Tight Economy.  It was very useful. I was given ideas and proper procedures on how to go about writing a grant.  The best advice I can give you from the information I got from the workshop is start small and then build up to the big grants. 

As for the the other session,  I am trying to have a somewhat “green” lifestyle.  So I figured, why not practice what I do at home and bring it to my work environment? I say why not, in the long run it is cheaper and healthier for your district, it is great for Mother Nature, in most cases they work better than most chemical cleaning products used in our schools, and most of all children are sick less often and much less affected by the harsh chemicals.  Seems like a clear cut choice to me…What do you think?


The Floor Take Two

As I  mentioned before, I was able to get some ideas on how to work the floor, and maximize my time while there.  So I figured I would get an early start. I was waiting to get on the floor right as the doors opened (8:00 a.m.).   All I can say, what a difference.  It was so quiet, there was just the hum of the air vents and the slight whisper of a tiny crowd.  Instead of fighting my way through the convention floor I was allowed to take the time to speak with vendors on a personal level. I was able to ask questions and they gave me valuable information. It was such a relief from the craziness of yesterday.  I must say it was much better and I did get a lot more free items.  So I can now suggest: go early, take the time to really speak with the vendors, and you will be rewarded for it.  After a couple of workshops I will report back to see what the floor looks like in the afternoon.  I’m off to workshops on grant writing and going green.

Long First Day

     Wow, what a long first day.  As you may know, my day was packed with a non-stop agenda. The traffic was the worst, Cynthia Nixon was great, the floor was INSANE. Trying to meet with all my friends, family, and co-workers was a difficult task. I did get to meet up with some fellow SPARKS (newer, younger members). Then a couple of us went to dinner together. The company was great, but the food at the Tun Tavern- I have had better.  So after dinner I had a plan to go back to my room to try and sneak in a nap before meeting with some friends for a night out on the town.  Like I said, “a plan.”  I passed out from exhaustion and the next thing I know it is 6 o’clock in the morning.  I slept right through the night, some nap, huh? 

    So after my “long nap”  I was ready to set out for a new day, with a new plan to work the floor. I was given lots of ideas from talking with random people I met on the floor yesterday.  Check in later to see how these ideas went…

From the Floor

blog-pic1-001I have just three words to describe the convention floor; INSANE, INSANE, and CRAZY-INSANE.  I never thought in a million years how crowded it was going to be.  People rushing this way and that way to be the first to get the free stuff. I do have to tell you, the yard sticks must go. I was stabbed and poked by them at least six times.  Did this happen to you?

I did get to speak with several people. Some were willing to give up their secrets on how to work the convention floor.  It was a big help; I am willing to take any advice I can get.  If you have some more ideas please let me know. It is a jungle out there.  Thank you again to all of you who gave your input.  Be safe, and most of all have FUN!!!! See you on the floor.

Cynthia Nixon

As you all know, I ended up down here a little later than expected (traffic).  So with my bag in tow I went right to the Cynthia Nixon keynote address. To be honest, I really didn’t know what to expect.  Here is this well known actor, who has starred on TV, movies and plays. In my mind what does she know about public education? Well, let me tell you I was extremely impressed. Here is this woman who is a product of a public education herself and she sends her own children to public schools. When asked why she is such an advocate for public education, her response was, “It was the way I was raised.”  She spoke with such passion about her own teachers and how each one of them has left an imprint on her life. Seeing how thankful she was made me feel great to be a public educator. Ms. Nixon  has spoken at many rallies to help support public education and make sure it is properly funded.  She has even been arrested at one of these rallies for standing up for public education funding.  For that I applaud her.  She also stated, “Being a teacher is one of the hardest jobs, it’s like being a parent times 30.”  With each word she spoke, my respect for her grew.  How great is it to have such a supporter of public education. I know now why she was asked to join us this year as a keynote speaker.  If you where there and would like to share your thoughts please let me know. I would love to hear from you.

I am here!!!

So I left my house at seven in the morning and headed down to AC for convention.  The ride was going great until about 1 mile before my exit.  I have lived in NJ all my life and have experienced some heavy traffic jams, but this was insane.  It took me an hour to go a square block. I never would have guessed in a million years how many people would be here.  Note for next time: come even earlier.  Did any of you run into the same problem? If so, let me know what you did about it.   Keep checking in to read my NJEA Convention blog.


It was the night before convention and all through the state,  

Not a teacher was grading, not even the ones who stay up late

I at my desk top, and my suitcase all packed.  

I’m so excited, this is truly a fact.    

For it is 7 a.m. I’m out the front door. 

I can not wait, to hit that grand ol’convention floor.     

With my bag at my side, it is empty for sure.

But soon it will be filled, with free goodies galore  

At 10 o’clock in the a.m. some time with Cynthia Nixon I will spend. 

Then to the workshops, undoubtedly I will go.   

I might even take in a late show. 

Two days of convention, for all eyes to come and see.

Something for everyone, including you and me.  

For it is the NJEA Convention that is where I will be.    

I will keep writing and convention secrets I will tell.    

So this good-night but certainly not farewell.

I want to take this time and thank all of you who have posted your comments to my blog.  I look forward to seeing you all at convention. I have taken your advice and suggestions. I plan on bringing them with me to convention.  Remember, I will continue to write and post new blogs while at convention.  So keep writing and sharing all of your Ideas.