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The Association of American Educators
AAE Blog
The Association of American Educators (AAE) is the largest national nonunion professional teachers association, advancing the profession through teacher advocacy and professional development, as well as promoting excellence in education, so that our members receive the respect, recognition and reward they deserve.

  • Idaho teacher uses AAE Grant to purchase books for young readers

    Earlier this year, Melissa Hunt, an elementary educator at I.T. Stoddard Elementary School in Blackfoot, Idaho, applied for a COVID-19 Relief Grant to purchase books for her young readers. This is her reflection of the impact this funding had on her students.



  • Pre-K educator granted virtual learning equipment

    Pre-K educator Allison Pattion applied for an AAE Foundation Classroom Grant and found out how valuable her particular grant request would be for her students in the coming virtual learning school year. Some projects are approved not because they are glamorous but because they meet a specific need in a specific setting. These needs may seem unique, but many educators were struggling with similar challenges. Daily I wondered how I was going to implement effective and engaging learning experiences for my pre-K students over a full virtual learning day. The list of questions that ran rampant, that I spent an entire summer preparing for, felt endless. How would the virtual space replicate a classroom setting? What would I use to model teaching? What normal supplies would I have in my room that I could gather for students? How could I make virtual learning hands-on for pre-K students? Lastly, where would these materials be stored and retrieved by parents?



  • Why Teach Civics

    Our country is holding one of the most contentious elections in recent history. The nation’s citizens seem to be more polarized than ever. It’s not just that we can’t agree on what solutions we need, we don’t even seem to agree on the same list of issues. Increasingly, digital and traditional media are pulling citizens further and further into their own respective corners and echo chambers, leaving many to feel we have few values or beliefs in common. 



  • The Real Cost of the Digital Divide

    As a result of COVID-19, the world has had to quickly learn how to use technology to get things done. Whether a technology guru or a novice, many educators, parents, and students were thrust into distance learning due to COVID-19-related school closures in the spring. Thankfully, with time to ideate, initiate, and implement changes, many educators and school districts are more comfortable with distance learning, and some are even excelling in its execution. Perhaps now, educators are slightly more comfortable with the technology they are asked to use for instruction. While teachers may be growing in their capacity to leverage technology, there remains a significant number of students who still have not logged in to class, and who still lack the technology or bandwidth to do so.



  • Invest now to reward yourself and your students later

    Hello fellow Colorado teachers and educators everywhere. My name is Dave Dillard, and I am a Technology Integration Specialist with Cheyenne Mountain School District. I have been teaching for almost 15 years, 10+ of which were with a Title One school, with a 50 percent free and reduced lunch population. I have taught first, second, fourth, and sixth grades. In my current role, I help teachers incorporate technology in meaningful ways across their curriculum. One of my jobs is to provide video tutorials for teachers, showing them how to more effectively use the tools that are at our fingertips. This might include showing them how to create videos, how to use our Google Apps infrastructure, how to problem-solve and troubleshoot, as well as participate in basic video conferencing to assist them as they are working with their students.



  • AAE Grant Funds Science Kit

    This week’s guest blog is from Jacqueline Fawaz. Jacqueline was one of our Spring 2020 National Scholarship & Grant recipients. Like many educators around the world, she had to quickly shift the focus of her grant as schools began to close. She writes: 



  • Summer Reset

    Schools and families need a reset over the summer.

    Every student, teacher, parent, and administrator has experienced a tumultuous spring semester, and we all need to take time for self-care. Many of the systems districts and teachers are using were designed hastily, and they should take advantage of the summer break to gather input from families and ensure that students are being served appropriately. It is incumbent on schools to offer summer learning opportunities in a way that respects what families are experiencing.



  • An AAE grant advances the classroom

    Today's guest blog was written by Ms. Samantha Vargas, an English language teacher from New Jersey.

     

    My students needed more access to culturally representative books. I teach at a charter school in Jersey City, New Jersey that has a large percentage of students who qualify for the free and reduced lunch program. Therefore, it is my goal to cultivate the reading community I’m building. However, I cannot do this without a current classroom library that caters to the different ability levels and interests in my classes. I have been purchasing books for my kids, but it is not enough for all of my students and the process is slow, often one book at a time. 



  • Teaching in the Time of COVID

    This week's guest blog is by AAEF Advocacy Fellow and Educator Joli Sotallaro.

     

    Summer break is here, and for the first time in my teaching career, I am left to wrap up the school year without the typical traditions of field days, yearbook signings, and games. All the events that provide closure and celebrate a year of learning and growth have been shifted to digital platforms and have left me and many teachers with a feeling of unease and a sense that this year could not possibly be over. In the process of cleaning and closing down my classroom, reflection on what has undoubtedly been one of the most difficult years brings to the front of my mind several thoughts.