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Virginia Journal of Education

American Education Week: It’s 90 Years Young

Take time this month to celebrate yourself and the irreplaceable work you do! There’s a week set aside for exactly that: American Education Week, sponsored in part by the National Education Association, is an annual celebration of the people and things that make our public schools great and that help make public education the cornerstone of our democracy. This year’s AEW takes place November 13-19. It’s the 90th annual commemoration of the event, and each day of the week will put the spotlight on a different aspect of school life:

• Monday, November 14: Kick-Off Day. From large-scale national events to smaller community activities, millions of Americans will celebrate and encourage public education and educators.

• Tuesday, November 15: Parents Day. Schools around the nation will invite the parents of students into classrooms to get a firsthand look at what a typical school day is like.

• Wednesday, November 16: Education Support Professionals Day. This day is set aside to honor those individuals who provide valuable services to schools, such as bus drivers, secretaries, teacher assistants, custodians and food service workers.

• Thursday, November 17: Educator for a Day. Elected and appointed officials and other community leaders are invited to serve as educators to get some insight into what it’s like to be a school employee.

 Friday, November 18: Substitute Educators Day. This day will celebrate those who step into the gap when teachers can’t be at their posts.


New Educators Connect
Through VEA Sparks

If you’re a brand new or relatively new educator, two things may be true of you: one, you would probably enjoy a chance to compare notes with others in the same boat and, two, you probably don’t have great big piles of discretionary income.

So, if you’ve got five or fewer years of experience in education, VEA Sparks is for you.

Sparks will be at the Wintergreen Resort, near Charlottesville, February 24-26, 2012, and, except for a fully-refundable deposit, it’s free! You’ll make connections with newer VEA members, along with discoveries about your fellow educators and your Association. Sparks is adapted to what you want and need. We survey each participant in advance and design the weekend around what you want to learn and gain.

Of course, you’ll have time to ski or take advantage of Wintergreen’s other offerings. And you'll form relationships with fellow new educators that may last for your entire career. We keep in touch with you after the weekend, and help you stay in touch with your colleagues.

"I came away with countless resources, mainly in the form of other teachers who share common issues on a daily basis," says Keith Lichliter, a member of the Frederick County Education Association. "It was quite refreshing to hear similar stories and know that I'm not alone in left field. Because of Sparks, I have made friends that I won't hesitate to stay in touch with and, when need be, call upon for professional advice."

For more information, visit VEA’s website: or contact Sonia Lee at




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