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Independence Voice Key to NWPE Scholarship Winner
posted by: Cindy Omlin | December 08, 2016, 07:28 PM   

tanya mcateeThe skills and knowledge Ms. McAtee learned at the conference will help her to develop assessment strategies in-line with NGSS, revise current units of study to provide learning experiences across the three dimensions of scientific learning, and boost student confidence in their skills and understanding of the “doing” of science.  Ms. McAtee reports:

Before the conference I set a goal to focus on two areas of development; practices that can be used immediately in my classroom and overarching theory of standards, science learning and program development that I can apply through my leadership opportunities at St. Paul’s Academy.

Already, I have integrated and found effective many new strategies to develop student communication in the classroom, enhance engagement through inquiry-based learning activities, and utilize assessment strategies to focus my teaching and planning.

St. Paul’s Academy is a small Pre-K through 12 community of fewer than 300 students, without dedicated curriculum development personnel. Attending courses at the conference related to implementing the NGSS standards will result in my ability to provide meaningful contributions to our ongoing revision of our science program, as well as our science outreach efforts to the local community.  In addition, new professional relationships I developed through my membership in NSTA and WSTA have already resulted in more professional learning opportunities as well as additional educational experiences for my students.

Having an independent voice in the education dialogue is important to Ms. McAtee as well.  “Teachers are beginning to have a voice in our public and our governments outside of stigmatized union representation.  With this voice, teachers are able communicate and demonstrate the variety of needs and desires for growth as a professional community. More than ever, teachers should use this opportunity to express the variety of needs that exist for continuing education, community involvement, and government support to ensure that all children have teachers who are qualified and inspired to teach.  A hallmark of professionalism is active involvement in influential organizations in society, which have the resources to create positive change in an industry often misunderstood and misrepresented.” 

Despite working in a private school where union membership is not available, Ms. McAttee has witnessed the value of NWPE member even for public school teachers who do have access to union representation.  “Membership in NWPE is important to me as I do not have the option to be represented by a union, and my school organization’s legal support is very limited.  The legal representation and insurance are why I joined in the first place, however after years of continuing membership I find that if I was employed by a public school, I would likely choose to continue my membership in NWPE.

“I feel that a diverse and national population of teachers and education professionals is well represented in current affairs which matter most to teachers, eliminating participation in banter and policy which derails efforts to make our education system more effective for the children as well as the professional staff.” 

We appreciate Ms. McAtee’s support for independent professional educator voices and look forward to her students and colleagues benefiting from her conference attendance.

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