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Every new educator has challenges and obstacles to negotiate along a career path — but the journey does not need to be a solitary one.
The MTA Early Career Educators Conference,
held on Nov. 16 at Mountview Middle School in
Holden, brought that lesson to life, as more than
200 teachers and Education Support Professionals
gathered for a full day of workshops and other
conversations that focused on sharing experiences
Organized by the MTA’s New Member
Committee, the annual conference attracts educators in
their early years of professional practice and students
enrolled in educator preparation programs. Workshops
this year covered topics ranging from meditation
techniques to strategies for dealing with student debt,
with most of the sessions centered on ways to meet the
academic, social and emotional needs of students.
MTA President Merrie Najimy, Vice President
Max Page and members of the MTA Executive
Committee joined the conference participants for
lunch, reminding them that union membership is a
powerful tool for creating the kinds of classrooms
educators want for their students.
That message surfaced during a discussion
that opened the conference. The New Member
Committee’s Alex Hoyt, an educator in Hudson,
moderated a panel made up of Springfield teacher
Maddie Gordon, 2020 Massachusetts Teacher of the
Year Takeru Nagayoshi and Worcester paraeducator
In response to a question about engaging students
who do not feel academically successful, Nagayoshi,
who teaches in New Bedford, said that educators
Photo by Scott McLennan
Stoughton teacher Jessica Rosenthal led a workshop on keeping elementary school students
engaged. The session was part of the recent Early Career Educators Conference in Holden.
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