September 25 2015 FEA Europe Update

Lisa's FEA Europe Update

25 September 2015


1. Computer Issues

2. Cleaning Issues

3. FRS Trainings/EAC Meeting

4. TSP Returns 02 September 2015

5. Retirement Articles

6. JCC Minutes

7. October Top Ten List of Classroom Ideas from Scholastic

8. October Theme Ideas for Teaching

9. September 25th: This day in history

10. A Little Humor

11. Quote of the Week



1.    Computer Issues:  It appears as though once again, computer issues seem to be driving the educational bus.  Your FEA leadership is well aware of the hardships and additional work this creates for teachers, and are dedicated to trying to find solutions to the problems. We have made management at all levels aware of how negatively impacted our students are by what is happening with IT in the schools. Please continue to keep your FRS informed of how your classroom is impacted by the computer issues so that we have plenty of documentation to present to management.


2.    Cleaning Issues:  FEA is also receiving reports regarding cleanliness issues in some of our schools.  Please notify your FRS is there are issues in your classroom or school, so that we can get this information to the appropriate level for resolution.



3.    FRS Training/EAC Meeting:  Annual FRS trainings as well as the fall European Area Council meetings were held this past week across Europe. H.T. Nguyen, FEA Executive Director, Jan and Bill Freeman, and Ben Hunter, UniServ Attorneys for Europe were here conducting the trainings and meeting with members. All of your Division Representatives, HCR Representative and Area Directors were out of the office attending these meetings as well, so there may have been delays in answering emails


4.    TSP Returns:  Click on the link below to access the latest TSP returns.


5.    Retirement Articles: Below are links to several retirement articles I thought you might find of interest.  You can subscribe to information such as this at the following website:


FEGLI Life Insurance for Annuitants and Retiring Employees



Using a Roth IRA Rather Than a Traditional 529 Plan to Save for the Cost of a College Education


2016 FEHB Premium Rates: Increases for Family Coverage, Savings for Self-Plus One, OPM Estimates


2015 FEHB Open Season Dates Announced by OPM


It's Never Too Late to Start Making TSP Catch-Up Contributions


Thrift Savings Plan Calculators


2015 Checkbook Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees and Annuitants


Get a Free Subscription to the My Federal Retirement Email Newsletter


6.     JCC Minutes:  Attached are the minutes from our most recent JCC with the Area Office.  Further information in regards to item #15 Roles and Responsibilities.  FEA will continue to provide representation for our members in whatever way the various representatives deem appropriate.


7.    October Top Ten List of Classroom Ideas from Scholastic: Below is a link to teaching ideas for the month of October from Scholastic.  These include Students as Rock Stars, Maintaining Communication with Parents, and many more useful classroom tips.


8.     October Theme Ideas for Teaching: Below are links to several websites offering ideas on thematic teaching for the month of October. 


October Theme Activities, Lessons and Teaching Ideas



October Crafts


October Ideas


October:  Ideas for Teaching


October 2015 Teaching Ideas


Teaching with Style:  Bright Ideas for October


October Creative Writing Prompts


Diversity Resources for Teachers


The History Place:  This Month in October


Historical People and Events for October


Holidays and Observances Worldwide


9.     September 25:  This day in History the following events took place: September 25, 1513 - Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa first sighted the Pacific Ocean after crossing the Isthmus of Panama.

September 25, 1690 - The first American newspaper was published. A single edition of Publick Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick appeared in Boston, Massachusetts. However, British authorities considered the newspaper offensive and ordered its immediate suppression.

September 25, 1789 - The first U.S. Congress proposed 12 Amendments to the Constitution, ten of which, comprising the Bill of Rights, were ratified.

Birthday - American writer William Faulkner (1897-1962) was born in New Albany, Mississippi. Best known for The Sound and the Fury and The Reivers.

Birthday - Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) was born in St.

Petersburg, Russia. He witnessed the Russian Revolution and went on to become one of the greatest Soviet composers.


10. A Little Humor to End the Week or Start the Weekend---depends upon your point of view:


In Tribute to DoDEA Science Teachers


"If I melt dry ice, can I swim without getting wet?" Steven Wright


"If you were in a vehicle and you were traveling at the speed of light, and then you turned your lights on, would they do anything?" Steven Wright


"It's a good think we have gravity, or else when birds died they'd just stay right up there." Steven Wright


How many balls of string would it take to reach the moon?  Just one---it it's long enough!


A day without radiation is a day without sunshine.


Two hydrogen atoms are talking. One says, "I think I've lost an electron."  The other asks, "Are you sure?"  The first replies, "Yes, I'm positive."


A man is playing Trivial Pursuit. He rolls the dice and lands on Science & Nature. The question is, "If you are in a vacuum and someone calls your name, can you hear it?" The man thinks for a moment before asking, "Is the vacuum on or off?"


I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists somewhere else in the universe is that none of it has bothered to contact us.

---from Man Walks into a Bar, by Stephen Arnott and Mike Haskins



11. Quote for the Week:  "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf."---Jon Kabat-Zinn, American Doctor and Mindfulness Expert


Have a GREAT weekend!


Lisa Ali

FEA Europe North Area Director