Friday, December 12, 2008

December AR Meeting

We had our monthly AR meeting earlier this week. The only thing on the agenda was an update of mediation and a district update with Duran. Denise was kind enough to provide drinks and snacks. We spent most of the meeting catching up with members information and discussing school climate.

The Wilson County Board of Education is sponsoring a Framework for Evaluation workshop in Wilson County on January 22. Duran will be conducting the training which will begin at 4:00 and end at 7:00 P.M. Each participant will receive 3 hours of staff development credit for attending the training. If you would like to attend the training, please contact your AR or email SCEA at the address on the right.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bargaining Cluster Meeting

Tracy represented SCEA at the Bargaining Cluster IV Meeting. Many items were discussed. The teams from local associations in Uniserv District 12 were present. They looked at differentiated pay plans and were updated with the current state approved plans. The teams looked at collective bargaining and interest based bargaining. Interest based bargaining (IBB) is new to our area and we discussed the different approaches of IBB.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

AR and Bargaining Meeting

The next few days will be busy for our association. This Thursday, several association members will be attending a bargaining meeting in Cookeville. We will meet with our Uniserv district to discuss topics that are on the bargaining tables in the Upper Cumberland. If you are interested in local bargaining issues and would like to attend, please contact Tracy.

Then on Tuesday, we will have our monthly AR meeting. Every association member is invited to attend. We meet at 4:00 at SCHS, Denise Hackett's room. We hope to have another date for mediation set and will get that information to everyone as soon as we have confirmation of date and time.

Fall UAC Meeting

In early fall, Dekalb, Macon, Jackson, and Smith County Education associations met at the Cornerstone Cafe in Gordonsville. They were joined by several TEA staff members, with Duran Williams hosting. We received updates on local legislation, member benefits, and membership updates. 
The associations members had a chance to network and exchange information. We also had a great meal and were able to get updates on the legislature both in TN and Washington, DC.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Education Votes!

It's almost time for the next round of elections - also known as a day off for us! Last month, SCEA hosted a meet the candidate for House District 40. We invited Macon (pictured above) and Dekalb County Education Associations to join us. We met with Terry Lynn Weaver and Cleveland Bain. Both candidates had good things to say about education. 

You know us! We also had to eat. Thanks Duran - he provided the great snacks and CHOCOLATE. 

If you have any questions about NEA and their stance on the national election, please visit


State Board of Education

Everything that happens with our core curriculum comes from the Tennessee State Board of Education. Please subscribe to SBE updates at and contact SBE members directly or express your views to TEA members assigned to contact SBE members. The regularly scheduled SBE meeting dates for the academic year are November 14, 2008, January 30, 2009, and April 17, 2009. TEA staff and TEA State Board Contact Committee members are in attendance at all SBE meetings.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Congratulations Becky Hackett

Earlier this week, Channel 2 name Becky Educator of the Week! We'd like to say "Job well done, Becky!" Here are some pictures of the event. I'm not sure when the spot will air.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Information from NEA Newsletter

Visit the web site!
SETTING UP YOUR NEW CLASSROOM Your classroom is your home-away-from-home 5 days a week -- for you and your students -- so make it a fun, productive learning space. Get started with tips for assessing your space, arranging the room by function or activity, and decorating with a theme.
CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT: WHEN THE SHIP SAILS ADRIFT Already feel like your classroom's sailing between Scylla and Charybdis? Your colleagues offer advice to get back on course.
TEAM TEACHING: TWO COOKS IN THE KITCHEN These days, you might be sharing your classroom with another teacher. Can you work effectively together -- without spoiling everything? Find out what teachers are doing to make it work.
DRESS TO IMPRESS For an aspiring educator, knowing curriculum and classroom management aren't the only things that make you a teacher. You've gotta look the part to be at the head of the class.
RETIRED EDUCATORS LOVE TECHNOLOGY When someone says "techie" you're likely to imagine a pimply-faced teenager or twenty-something hunched over a keyboard surviving on a diet of chips and soda pop, but these members are making the most of their 21st-century retirement.
Lesson Ideas
Classroom Management
Do the Right Thing
The Teaching Experience
Dropout Prevention
Professional Development
Grants & Resources
Check out these articles and many more resources for educators at!

Friday, August 15, 2008

AR Training

Just as school started, Duran came to Smith County to host an AR training for his western counties. Macon, Dekalb, Jackson, and Smith County Education Associations were invited to Cornerstone Cafe in Gordonsville for dinner and training. Smith and Dekalb attended the meeting.

We discussed the changes in application forms, new member drives, and membership grants. We did several exercises on ways excite our members. One of the exercises included putting questions in a balloon and letting us pick a balloon to pop. We then had to answer the questions inside the balloon. It was a great way to do a review. All of us thought it would be a good method to repeat in our classrooms, but a little noisy. Elementary and middle school kids would love it!

Hope everyone has had a great school year start.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

COAT Training

It seems like we met a lot of times for training this summer. Carol and Tracy went to a COAT training at Cookeville High School. The training involved five uniserv districts - a rarity. Duran and the uniserv coordinators around the Upper Cumberland area have been working overtime to keep us up to date.

This training gave us information about competing organizations. We picked up a lot of great information and were able to talk to surrounding county associations. The networking alone makes it worthwhile to attend a meeting.

Ronnie Clemmons from TEA Headquarters was in attendance at the meeting. He always adds a little sparkle to the meeting.Tracy participated in a skit with Jeff Garrett (PLT Uniserv Coordinator). I was the member of the association being approached by the competition. It was nice to be able to put into practice all of the information they had given us. I think if Jeff had given me a little more time, I would have signed him up. :)

If anyone would like to attend a TEA training, please contact your AR. It is a great experience, a lot of information will be given, door prizes will be handed out (Duran is always good for a gallon of gas $5), and a great meal is always on hand.

The next training is on the Framework for Evaluation, August 21 at Cookeville High School, 4:30 pm. If you would like to attend, RSVP Duran ( ) Tracy is attending the training. Contact her if you'd like a ride. Email address is on the right of the blog.  

Friday, August 1, 2008

Three District Membership Meeting

Denise and Tracy represented SCEA and joined 25 other association reps at the July Tri-District Membership meeting. Uniserv Districts Seven, Nine and Twelve met at Fairfield Glade's new convention center to discuss new membership opportunities and benefits. 

The members heard from the NEAMB cadre representative from Oak Ridge. Alex gave out NEAMag cards which enables members to receive a free magazine from NEA if you register by mail and two free magazines if you register online. (Contact Tracy for the online website) Representatives from A+ Insurance discussed discounts members receive on home and auto insurance, Horace Mann representatives discussed growing your money, and Wells Fargo described ways to save money on home purchases. It was very informative.

Each uniserv coordinator discussed ways to help members through professional development opportunities and ways to reach new teachers in our counties. Donna Jerden discussed the generational issues that exist and the ways each generation communicates. This blog is a direct result of her discussion.  Duran discussed the new COAT training that was happening in just a few days. Carol and Tracy attended that training and I'll post about that soon. 

The morning was very informative and was capped off with a nice lunch and door prizes. I won a lovely little lunch bag and Denise won a big basket of office supplies. (Can you tell I'm jealous?) It was a great meeting and we'd love to share information with anyone interested.

If you'd like to attend one of these meetings with us, just let us know. We will be having another meeting later in the fall.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Delegates gathered gather July 1 through July 6 at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC for the Association's 146th Annual Meeting and 87th Representative Assembly.

Tracy was among 280 Tennessee delegates. She served as state delegate. Each morning the Tennessee delegation met at their Bethesda, MD from 7 to 9 for their daily caucus. They discussed 83 new business items, 15 new legislative items and numerous resolutions as part of the RA business.
Delegates heard from the Friend of Education award winner Barbara Morgan, NASA's first teacher in space. The assembly also welcome the 2008 Teacher of the Year Michael Geisen and the 2008 ESP of the Year Laura Vernon. Each speaker was very inspiring and made you proud to be a member of the education profession.

This was President Reg Weaver's last Representative Assembly and the delegates elected Dennis Van Roekel as the new President and Lily Eskelsen as Vice President of the NEA. Tennessee's delegation heard from these candidates as well as those running for Secretary-Treasurer, Executive Committee and ESP at Large during the morning caucuses. Candidate elections were exciting and Tracy was the state contact for Donna De Kraai's campaign for Executive Committee.
Tracy also served as the state contact for the Utah delegation and exchanged items from Tennessee with the Utah delegate. The Utah delegation was having a great RA, their candidate for V-P Lily won the election.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Summer Happenings

The Smith County Education Association (SCEA) sponsored a School Board Candidate Forum on July 8, 2008 at the Smith County Chamber of Commerce Building.  All candidates were invited to attend.  Candidates were:  Karen Shoulders, District 1 (opposition not present); Dick Fulton and Chris McCall, District 2;  Sonja Hammonds, District 7 (current board member not present) and Tommy Manning (running unopposed) from District 5.  Each candidate made an opening and closing statement. 

Questions that had been submitted by members of SCEA were presented to the candidates concerning: open meetings, rotating Board of Education (BOE) meetings to different schools, their favorite teacher and subject,  evaluations of the Director of Schools, his job extensions and taking applications for the position, changing board policies and opening board policy up to the public or posting it on line.  Mr. Manning expressed surprise that the board policy was not on line since the BOE had paid the Tenn. School Board Association to do so a couple of years ago.  Several candidates also expressed new ideas to add to the effectiveness of the Smith County Board of Education.  All the candidates present spoke positively about the schools, students and teachers of Smith County.

The Smith County Education Association hopes to continue forums in the future to help promote awareness of education in Smith County .