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If you are new to the profession, like to have fun, and want to learn more about the Virginia Education Association (VEA), Sparks is for you!

Sparks is a free, fun and rewarding weekend event for teachers and support professionals who are new to Virginia’s public schools and who have little or no experience with VEA or NEA. The purpose of Sparks is to make a positive connection with newer members. Through Sparks, participants learn skills and make connections with other members that help them in their profession, while gaining a better understanding of their Association.

Want to attend? Mark the dates, March 11-13, 2016, in your calendar. Applications will be available in September.

Here are answers to some of your questions about Sparks:

What happens at Sparks?

The Sparks program is adaptable to what you want and need. Sparks lets you make discoveries about your fellow educators and your Association on your own, related to your own priorities. You make those discoveries while learning about the issues relevant to you.

What else is different?

• We strive to have a diverse group of Sparks participants to help build connections and create a climate in which you can feel comfortable having meaningful discussions around issues arising from individual differences in your professional lives.

• Preference is given to VEA members within the first five years of their career— so that we can help form bonds that will last for a full career. Sparks is a one-time only event. No repeat Sparkers!

• We keep in touch with you after the initial Sparks weekend is over. We emphasize that VEA is here to support you throughout your career. And we ask that you participate in engaging other members in your age group.

• We have fun. No advance agenda is provided. Participants will take part in group activities. Be prepared to learn from and with your colleagues and you will be rewarded.

Why do participants like VEA Sparks?

We focus on your needs and desires—even your fears and concerns about your profession. We cater to you during the weekend. We listen to you. We create a safe environment for you to share scary issues. We help you understand that you are “not the only one” going through the perils of being new in this career. And, we have fun.


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Check out VEA and NEA Member Benefits savings programs.

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