When nearly 9,000 educators get together in the middle of the summer from all over the United States, free of classroom discipline and lesson plan prep, you know it’s going to be a good party.
The National Education Association’s (NEA) 152nd annual meeting and 93rd Representative Assembly (RA) touched down in Denver, Colorado this week to celebrate the education profession and to tackle complex challenges facing educators across the country.
From the 26th of June to the 6th of July, participants from NEA affiliates are putting their heads together to solve key issues, such as those surrounding the Common Core State Standards, school safety, and funding, among many others.
But there will also be a lot of fun.
Education International (EI) has found its own place at the party, in fact, right in the middle of it.
Along with EI President Susan Hopgood, General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen, and Deputy General Secretary David Edwards, members of EI’s communications team are in Denver promoting the Unite for Quality Education Campaign.
Helena Schulz and Steve Snider are working the exhibition floor from EI’s Unite booth, operating as EI ambassadors. The two are collecting Unite videos for the Million Voices initiative, running EI’s teacher survey, and handing out coveted EI collector pins – part a popular NEA RA tradition.
“We’re gathering lots of videos and statements from RA attendees,” said Schulz, who is making good use of the Unite App, which allows anyone, anywhere to share their views on quality education. “With years of experience on their backs, most here are asking for their voice to be heard.”
Aside from just spreading the word about global education, the EI team is actively promoting the Unite Campaign’s culmination activities coming up this September. Official events and rallies in Australia, India, Kenya, Belgium, and Argentina all lead up to New York, where EI and teachers from around the world will assemble at the United Nations on September 24th and 25th to shape the post-2015 development agenda.