Friday, March 23, 2018

April Vacation PDPs: ELL, Special Ed and Engaged Classrooms

April Vacation PDPs: ELL, Special Ed and Engaged Classrooms

Registration is now open for three free two-day courses through which participants will earn 15 PDPs, meeting state requirements for either English Language Learners or Special Education:

  • April 17 and 18, Springfield Education Association: Engagement Strategies to Reach and Teach All Students (Special Education)
  • April 19 and 20, Greater Lowell Technical High School: Supporting Students with Special Needs in Your Classroom (Special Education)
  • April 19 and 20, MTA Quincy Headquarters: Supporting ELLs in Your Classroom (ELL)

Free registration for these free programs is available at:

More ELL and Special Education programs will be offered this summer.

Additionally, there are still spaces available for the Engaged Classrooms Four Day Institute at MTA Quincy Headquarters, April 17-20. This program for educators in grades 7 through 12 offers the opportunity develop and improve upon structures, protocols and practices used in the classroom. Participants will earn 28 PDPs for free or can earn 2 graduate credits from Fitchburg State University at a cost of $245.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

English Learners PD Opportunities

The English Learner Education (EL) Department invites you to participate in 3 PD opportunities to support our EL students with social and emotional learning challenges (Cultural Competence, Building Strong Relationships, or Living with Trauma). The Cultural Competence and Building Strong Relationships PD will be 1 session only. Helping students living with trauma PD will be 4 sessions. If you are interested please register on our district SMART PD System. Registration is opened now!
For more information, please review these  3 different fliers or call Betty at ext. 3333:

Building Strong Relationships to Improve Student Success

Cultural Competence

Helping Students Living with Trauma

Sonia Walmsley
Executive Director of Educational Access & Pathways
New Bedford Public Schools
455 County Street. New Bedford, MA 02740
508-997-4511 Ext. 3333 or 3315

Friday, March 2, 2018

“Backpack Full of Cash”

There will be a “Backpack Full of Cash” screening on Monday, April 2nd at 6:00pm. This is a regional member only forum hosted by the Taunton Education Association and will take place in the auditorium of Taunton High School. Nancy Everidge, President of the T.E.A., has set a goal of 200 MTA members in attendance and would also like to invite legislators as guests to the event.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Engaged Classrooms Four-Day Institute

The Massachusetts Teachers Association’s Division of Training & Professional Learning is proud to partner with Engaging Schools to offer their four-day Engaged Classrooms Institute to our members for FREE.

“Where change is concerned, the teacher is clearly the key.” Teachers are first in line to support the adolescents in their care and navigate the daily challenge of teaching students who come to school with different profiles, passions, problems, and a range of adolescent behaviors and energy. This four-day institute prepares teachers to create classrooms where students feel safe, cared for and challenged to think, create and perform.

The program will be led by Jayne Ogata, an Engaging Schools instructor who is working with staff of the Fuller Middle School in Framingham on a whole-school restorative practices implementation, with the help of an NEA Great Public Schools grant.  This Institute is designed for early-career and experienced teachers in grades 7 through 12, instructional coaches and department heads responsible for supporting teacher growth and development; and assistant principals.

Participating educators will develop and improve upon the following understandings, strategies and structures:
·         Strong and Caring Teacher Presence
·         Personalized Relationships
·         Instructional Organization
·         Engaging and Rigorous Learning Protocols
·         Unit Planning Structures
·         Academic and Behavioral Supports and Interventions
·         Restorative and Accountable Discipline
·         Collegial Collaboration
Participants will receive two free publications from Engaging Schools, and create multiple products that could be entered as evidence for evaluation purposes.

Participants may earn up to 28 PDPs for free or 2 Graduate Credits from Fitchburg State University for $245 (Payable to FSU. Enrollment materials will be available at the first session.) 

Space for this MTA 4-Day Institute is limited. Therefore, we ask all registrants to thoughtfully commit themselves to their attendance or to cancel their registration so the space can be given to another member.

For more information, see, or contact Dan Callahan, TPL Specialist,

Monday, February 26, 2018

Labor unions improve and save lives ... by By Nicholas Gula

Next week, hundreds of thousands of working people will join together to stand up for their right to improve their lives and those of their families.
The Working People’s Week of Action, which will include events in cities across the country and across Massachusetts, will stand in sharp contrast to recent union-busting efforts led by wealthy special interests. These include the case of Janus V AFSCME, which will be heard in the U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 26. The case attacks the freedom of working people to join unions for a better life and is driven by powerful special interests. It is designed to divide us from our co-workers.
But American workers will not be divided by any court case or other attack on our unity. That’s because America needs union jobs now more than ever, to safeguard the American Dream, allowing hard working people to ascend to the middle class, and stay there.
I’m a third generation electrician. When a non-union employer offered me just $18 per hour, after I finished a four-year apprenticeship, I declined. Instead I was able to join the union, which paid a much better wage. I eventually was fortunate to become a staff electrician at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. At UMass Dartmouth, I have excellent health benefits. I never worry about the cost of going to the doctor. But there is a lot more to my story.
When a crisis occurs, unions strengthen our communities by allowing us to take care of our families. My father, also a union electrician, was diagnosed with cancer, and his health insurance paid the vast majority of his medical bills. He got such wonderful care that he lived for 10 more years after his diagnosis, defying his prognosis. The extra years my family enjoyed with my father, well, you just can’t put a price on that. Without the union, I don’t think we would have had the same outcome.
My family faced another health crisis when my stepson was diagnosed with Stage Three kidney failure at the age of just five. When his condition advanced and dialysis was no longer effective, he needed a new kidney, but no one in the family was a match. However, I matched with a young man in Atlanta, and his wife was a match for my stepson. The union paid all of the medical bills for the surgeries for my stepson and myself. In addition, because I had a generous paid time off, I had the time needed to recover from the surgery.
Two lives were saved. Today, my stepson is a thriving teenager, and that young man in Atlanta has a new baby boy.
The truth is that we need more union jobs because unions care about their members. They are fueled by a passion for equity, justice and quality work. Quality work, especially as an electrician, demands high standards of safety. In Massachusetts, we have some of the highest standards of safety in the country. These, too, have been driven by union advocacy.
When I am out there, sometimes performing dangerous work, I know that I am not alone. I am backed by a union that is committed to ensuring working people have the power to speak out for fair pay, affordable health care, and humane working conditions. This commitment extends to all workers, regardless of race, gender or disability.
When I think of what the union has done for me and other working people, I don’t have to look very far. Recently, the GIC, which provides health care to state workers, proposed reducing the number of health insurers workers could choose from. This would have forced thousands of working people to find new doctors. Most alarming to me, a change in insurance could bump sick people needing a new organ — like my stepson — from their current position on the transplant list.
The unions succeeded in defeating this proposal, in order to safeguard our healthcare. The union stands for us, so I stand with the union. We are more powerful together than any one voice alone.
Ultimately, it’s about freedom. A Supreme Court ruling that attacks public unions assails our freedom as Americans to join together to advocate for a better life. We are rising up to protect this freedom and ensure that working people have power in numbers for generations to come.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Reducing your Risk for Diabetes-A Special No-Cost Program for Employees

Diabetes is a serious disease that can cause health problems, including stroke blindness, and kidney failure. You could be at risk if you’re overweight, get little exercise, have a close relative with diabetes, or are over age 45. The GOOD NEWS is that it’s preventable by making lifestyle changes, such as eating healthy, being active, and quitting tobacco.
To help you prevent diabetes, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts has partnered with the YMCA Southcoast to offer their Diabetes Prevention Program AT NO COST to 45 eligible New Bedford municipal employees and their families.
12 participants from varying school segments, including schools, DPW & DPI have already taken advantage of this opportunity, and are making strides toward improved health. This means there are still 33 remaining scholarships available to City of New Bedford Employees or Spouses covered by BCBSMA.

Program participants also receive a 12 month membership at the YMCA while participating. This program is usually $429, regardless of membership status, and through this collaboration, you may be able to attend for FREE! To see if you qualify, contact the YMCA Southcoast at (508)996-9622 ext. 141 or send an email

Thursday, February 15, 2018

MTA Summer Conference Request for Proposals

The Massachusetts Teachers Association, a union of professional educators, is seeking proposals for the 2018 MTA Summer Conference. The conference is scheduled from Sunday, August 5, to Thursday, Aug. 9, on the campus of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The MTA is seeking proposals for Professional Development workshops in instructional practice and other areas of professional interest. Our conference attracts approximately 600 MTA members, including Massachusetts public school educators, public higher education faculty, professional staff, education support professionals and retirees. Our members work in all subject areas in schools and higher education institutions across the state. We are seeking a wide variety of content and skill-based professional development opportunities for teachers, education support professionals and administrators in all content areas.

The deadline for Request for Proposals is Sunday, March 4, 2017 at 11:59PM. Conference offerings will be promoted in the spring issue of MTA Today and will be posted on the MTA’s website at

For more information and to propose a workshop,

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Durkin presents $147M 'enhanced' New Bedford school budget request

Durkin presents $147M 'enhanced' New Bedford school budget request

It's time assess the strength of our schools and to build on our successes.

The New Bedford Educators Association welcomes the opportunity to be part of the discussion leading to the selection of the next superintendent of New Bedford Public Schools. Our next superintendent will shape New Bedford Public Schools for years to come as well as be responsible for the opportunities available to our students right now.

The successful candidate for superintendent will support educators in meeting our students’ immediate needs and develop strategies alongside educators, parents and other community leaders to continually strengthen New Bedford Public Schools’ ability to address the academic, social and emotional needs of every student.

For our schools to be successful, it is essential that educators, parents and administrators have shared goals and principles that are in service to our students. While each stakeholder group has its own perspective deserving of respectful consideration, decisions about the New Bedford Public Schools must be made with one question foremost in mind: Is this good for students?  

From an educator’s perspective, a successful superintendent search will yield a candidate capable of articulating clear, concise decisions. We expect to have input, and that parents and other community leaders will have input, but in the end, the superintendent must decisively implement policies that are in the best interests of our schools and students.

Indecision can be as damaging as a bad decision. It is essential that the next superintendent has the ability to draw consensus around well-formulated plans.

The next superintendent must keep an eye on the big picture while trusting educators and building administrators to do their jobs. Establishing clear lines of communication throughout the district will make it easier for all stakeholders to carry out their roles while creating an environment that lets all of our students thrive.

The ideal superintendent candidate will not be a traditional top-down manager but rather be more like an orchestra conductor. We envision a superintendent who bring together the educators, students, administrators, parents and elected leaders in such a manner that these stakeholders are familiar with each other’s perspectives, and that the various points of view can be harmoniously arranged to bring out the best in our public schools.

The successful superintendent will also be a stabilizing force. The NBEA is alarmed by the number of resignations and departures from our district. Excessive turnover is disruptive to our students.

While we must naturally account for wisdom and expertise lost to retirements and welcome the energy and insights of new educators, we must also create an environment that makes seasoned educators want to stay in New Bedford. The next superintendent will make it a priority to ensure New Bedford Public Schools are not only hiring the best people — but also keeping the best people on the job.

The upcoming change in leadership for New Bedford Public Schools is the perfect time for all of us to assess the strength of our schools and to build on our successes.