April 25 2018 FEA Europe Update

Terry's Update

April 25, 2018

1. RAT Travel and DTS
2. President's Report Info
3. Classroom Management Ideas
4. FEA Retirement Certificates
5. FRS Elections
6. National Teacher Day
7. National School Nurse Day
8. Weingarten Rights
9 Mark Your Calendar
10. Poem in Your Pocket
11. Autism Awareness Month
12. Area Director's Travels

1. RAT Travel and DTS -- A new layer in order to get orders. There are essentially three steps to getting RAT/ED Travel orders now. 1. Apply in TOPS for orders, 2. Fill out the DTS Profile with SS, 3. Either purchase your own ticket, (beware of city pairs prices) or fill out the DTS reservation request form for DTS to purchase your tickets as many SATO offices will no longer make the reservations for teachers. We are still gathering more info and as we get it will forward it. The timing of beginning the new layer is about as bad as it could have been. More on the issue now is that DTS, once they have your DTS profile form, will issue a DD 1610 that gives the amount associated with your RAT/TOP's orders in boxes 20 a,b,c,d. This form with your orders can then be used at some SATO offices or with DTS (not as much flexibility), or to purchase your own tickets. Please be aware that purchasing your own tickets could result in a city pairs price which can be googled for the fare. Other things to know on the DTS profile form….

  1. The mailing address can be an APO (forms are now corrected and boxes should be fillable)
  2. The residential address must be your European address
  3. TOPS orders are used to generate the profile in DTS which then sends the profile fillable form.

2. President's Report from April 17 -- While I cannot list what was in it here or the contents of it, the President's Report had important information about what FEA and we are confronted with right now. There will be constant updates as well as actions members can take and how to take them listed on the FEA website.

3. Classroom Management Ideas -- NEA has many ideas, tips, and helpful hints on their website. Here is one about classroom management that could help as the year winds down there could be something that may make your classroom more manageable in the last days of the year. Classroom Management tools from NEA.

4. FEA Retirement Certificates -- If you or someone you know is retiring this year and they are a member, FEA can provide a retirement certificate. We need this information by May 11 in order to get the certificate to them so do not delay. Please send the name of the retiree to your division rep so they may collate the names and get the certificate to the retirees.

5. FRS Elections - It is nearing the time of year (usually late April in to May) when schools will be choosing their Faculty Representative Spokesperson for SY 18/19. This is a very important task and I hope that all schools will do all they can to run open, fair and transparent elections. Current FRS's have been provided with the SOP for such elections that was adopted by the EAC. Please note that most of what is in the SOP are recommendations as the election of a FRS is a very local matter. When your elections are completed please let your division rep as well as the area director know the name of the FRS for SY 18-19.

6. National Teacher Day - National Teacher Day is a day for honoring teachers and recognizing the lasting contributions they make to our lives. Congress declared March 7, 1980, as National Teacher Day for that year only. NEA and its affiliates continued to observe National Teacher Day in March until 1985, when the NEA Representative Assembly voted to change the event to Tuesday of the first full week of May. In May of 2009, a bill was introduced in Congress that created a national day of teacher recognition on the Tuesday of the first full week of May. National Teacher Day info.

7. National School Nurse Day -- Wednesday, May 10, is National School Nurse Day. School nurses work to promote health and provide the best care possible to students and their families. Take time on this day to look at the difference school nurses make in our schools. On a personal note, I would like to thank all our dedicated nurses for their hard work and patience in dealing with our students (and teachers)! They look after us as well!

8. Weingarten Rights -- This, unfortunately, is the time of the year when child abuse allegations reach a peak. These can be leveled at any one, not just teachers, who are in contact with children. Should you be accused it is imperative that you invoke your Weingarten Rights. Weingarten Rights guarantee an employee the right to union representation during an investigatory interview by an employer. If the interview could in any way lead to the employee being disciplined or terminated or affect his or her personal or working conditions, he or she should respectfully request that a union representative or officer be present at the meeting. Without representation, the employee may choose not to answer any questions. On the inside cover of the FEA calendar there is a card detailing what you must do. I hope none of us ever need it.

9. Mark Your Calendar
April 26 -- Poem in your Pocket Day
May1-31 - Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
May 1-31 - Jewish American Heritage Month
May 5 -- Cinco de Mayo
May 7-11 - Teacher Appreciation Week
May 9 - National Teacher Day
May 10 - National School Nurses Day
May 13 - Mother's Day
May 17-20 PTA Conference in Garmisch

10. Poem in your Pocket Day -- April 26, 2018 Poem in Your Pocket Day 2018 is on April 26 and is part of National Poetry Month. On this day, select a poem, carry it with you, and share it with others at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, street corners, and on social media using the hashtag #pocketpoem. Poem in Your Pocket Day was initiated in April 2002 by the Office of the Mayor in New York City, in partnership with the city's Departments of Cultural Affairs and Education. In 2008, the Academy of American Poets took the initiative to all fifty United States, encouraging individuals around the country to participate Get more info here.

11. Autism Awareness Month -- April has also been designated as Autism Awareness Month. It is a condition that affects more and more of our students every year. Learn more here.

12. Area Director's Travel -- I will be in Baumholder on 26 April, and then visiting the great Stuttgart schools the week of 30 March to 3 May. If there is any ‘Breaking News' I will distribute it as quickly as possible. Visiting the FEA website will also give you up to the minute information.

Terry McClain
FEA Europe
Area Director