It's certainly been a challenging spring for many of us as we've learned how to navigate a new world of remote, online teaching as well as balance our other professional and personal responsibilities. As usual, educators have risen to the occasion and continued to do what's best for students despite this unwelcome change to our daily lives.
As many of you have heard, our Annual Awards Banquet has been postponed until next June - the first time since its inception in 1983. Any local who submitted names for the Teacher Honor Award and Service Award will have the opportunity to celebrate with their friends and colleagues next year. We're looking forward to being with all of you at that time.
Our Future Educator Book Awards are being processed and we are happy to honor our graduating seniors who are considering a career in teaching. We wish them all the best!
Most recently, many of our locals have heard the difficult news that reduced state aid will bring to our schools. To that end, NCTA encourages you to promote the $3 trillion HEROES Act with your state legislators which would allocate more funding for public schools. More information can be found here:
As I write this, I'm preparing for a virtual meeting alongside NCTA Directors, Local Presidents and the MTA President Ms. Merrie Najimy to discuss the implications of school closures, student needs, budgetary woes and next steps for the eventual return to our classrooms. I'll be sure to share any insight with you on our website, Facebook page and future blog posts.
Also, I hope many of you consider taking a summer online graduate course with NCTA. These 3-credit courses taught by many local educators and that are supportive of public higher education (Framingham State) are a great way to stay up to date while fulfilling recertification requirements. The deadline to register for a course is June 15th. More information can be found here:
This school year has certainly tested us, but it has also cast a light on our resilience and perseverance to serve our students' needs both academically and emotionally. In many cases, our students need us now more than ever and we are there for them, as always.
Christopher M. Brillant, NCTA President
I hope this message finds you well. These are uncertain times for all of us, however, we can find comfort in the fact that we are united in our common goal of keeping everyone safe and healthy.
By now your school district is working on plans to keep learning alive as we deal with statewide school closures due to the coronavirus's arrival in our area. Many of our locals are negotiating fair terms of any type of agreement that allows for learning at home due to several factors including access to the internet as well as access to the curriculum for those who require one-on-one assistance.
Your local Presidents as well as MTA have been hard at work to ensure a plan that's best for all including signing a petition to cancel MCAS testing this spring among other initiatives. I encourage you to visit the MTA website for ongoing updates and important information. I've added a link on our website which can be found here: https://www.myncta.org/pages/mta-news-updates
Additionally, for those who like to plan ahead and would like to take an engaging online course, our Summer Graduate Course Offerings are currently online and can be found here: https://www.myncta.org/collections/summer-2020-semester
As of now, our 37th Annual Awards Banquet is still scheduled for June 2nd at Lombardo's in Randolph. Your local NCTA Director is currently in the process of facilitating who your honor and service award recipients will be for this year. Please reach out to them if you have any questions about that process. Your Director's name can be found here: https://www.myncta.org/pages/ncta-board-of-directors
Our students continue to be our top priority and we are grateful to all of those who support and encourage us as educators during these challenging times.
Christopher M. Brillant, NCTA President
Happy New Year!
It's hard to believe that we've entered a new decade and that 20 years have gone by since the turn of the century. For NCTA, this is the second time the organization has seen a century begin and we hope to see another in 2100!
With the future in mind, it's been a tremendously busy year for NCTA and I'm happy to share some of what we've been doing so far. As I mentioned in August, we began our Strategic Planning process which has been both engaging and informative for us as we begin to carve out specific action plans that will guide us moving forward. More to come on that process later on this spring - so stay tuned.
Additionally, I have been looking at ways to improve communication by the use of different platforms such as our new Facebook page and Google Forms to facilitate both communication and outreach to our members. I encourage you to like and share our Facebook page entitled "Norfolk County Teachers Association". There you will find links to course registration, pictures of our events such as the December Presidents' Dinner as well as other news and updates.
We are anxiously preparing for the Spring, 2020 course semester and registration closes on January 15th. NCTA consistently offers engaging and affordable graduate level courses that are ever-changing to meet the needs of all educators. I invite you to contact us if you are thinking of teaching a course through NCTA. It's a tremendous opportunity and a way for you to share your enthusiasm and knowledge with colleagues across the county.
That's all for now. I hope winter continues to be kind to us. In fact, as I write this post, it's 70 degrees outside and it feels as though Spring is knocking on our door. All the best with your students as we approach the mid-year point. I'll be back here in June with my final blog post with the year in review.
Christopher M. Brillant
Greetings Fellow Educators:
It is with great pleasure that I begin to serve in my new role as NCTA President! I am fortunate to have the opportunity to lead the oldest teachers' association in the country that is full of over 7,500 dedicated, engaged and passionate educators.
I have been a member of NCTA since 1998, and I began my involvement with the board back in 2005. Since then, I have served in many capacities: as a local director, grants coordinator, first vice president, and annual awards banquet chair. In these roles I became more aware of the great work that we do not only as educators, but as leaders in our schools. Given today's political climate and economic challenges, our work as teachers is not easy, but I firmly believe in public education and the positive impact we have on our students and colleagues alike.
At NCTA, we believe the best way to serve our locals is to continue our legacy of offering a wide array of graduate level courses at discounted prices, hosting our annual awards banquet where we celebrate the achievements of educators, students and friends of our locals, as well as continuing our grants program that allows teachers to create awesome learning experiences for their students.
I'm happy to announce that this year NCTA will begin a strategic planning process that will guide our association moving forward for the next 3-5 years. A collaborative and inclusive process will ensure that all locals are heard. I'm eager to see what comes of these meetings and I will be sure to keep you informed here on our website.
I wish you all a positive and successful year with your students!
Christopher M. Brillant