The NJEA Convention draws tens of thousands of members from around the state who are looking for high quality professional development, the latest in educational technology, and the tried-and-true methods that have stood the test of time. Teachers and educational support professionals (ESP) flocked to Atlantic City on Nov. 7 and 8 for the largest educational gathering of its kind.
Many of the features set to premier last year were rolled out at this year’s convention, including a revamped exhibit floor featuring Main Street NJEA, showcasing all the many programs that NJEA offers to its members, and the ESP Pavilion which offers materials and information designed specifically to meet the needs of educational support professionals.
Thousands of educators attended more than 300 professional development seminars, workshops, and programs to help teachers and educational support professionals hone their skills and stay current in their fields. Highlights included plenary sessions featuring brain-based educator Dr. Marcia Tate and Chris Lehmann, founding principal of the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia. Teacher evaluation expert Charlotte Danielson offered a featured presentation on how to implement her evaluation model.
Another major attraction was High Tech Hall, which continues to grow. It is an expansive “open classroom” where convention-goers choose from dozens of sessions featuring educator colleagues demonstrating the latest in educational technology.
In addition to the seminars and programs, attendees took advantage of the Convention Center’s huge exhibit area, featuring more than 700 vendors and exhibitors.
Other highlights of the two-day event included the Celebration of Excellence, which honors NJEA Hipp Foundation grant recipients for the innovative programs they implemented in their schools. The event also recognizes NJEA Award for Excellence recipients, all of whom are New Jersey public school graduates who have gone on to distinguished careers in their fields. This year’s recipients were Dr. Rose Marie Battaglia, renowned basketball coach, Dr. Anthony Laneve, chief of internal medicine at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, the late U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, former NJEA President Joyce Powell, and Matthew Quick, author of The Silver Linings Playbook. Additionally, the 2013-14 New Jersey Teacher of the Year, Kathleen Assini, a social studies teacher in Delsea Regional Middle and High School in Gloucester County, was featured.