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Celebrating a successful first year of learning opportunities

Our professional development programs cover a wide range of topics of interest to our members — equity, mental health, leadership, certification and more.

FEA’s Professional Development and Educational Research Department (PDER) welcomes you to new beginnings in the PD world. We have officially celebrated the one-year anniversary of our department and the work that has been able to take place because of you — the members working diligently to ensure that our students are top priority and learning for success.

This article appeared in the Fall 2021 issue of The Advocate, the official publication of the Florida Education Association.

We are going full speed ahead with our equity and social justice work while providing professional development statewide to meet certification needs for new educators, programs with an emphasis on addressing student trauma and encouraging self-care for all, and a variety of other trainings and webinars.
All members are invited to join in the learning. Please contact your local union to engage in local and state professional development. Connect with the Professional Development and Educational Research Department on the FEA website or on Facebook. We will continue to offer many of the following trainings throughout the year.

Teachers of Color Series

The Teachers of Color Series kicked off Jan. 28 and continues with virtual monthly meetings for all interested members. The series celebrates diverse groups and provides a space for aspiring and early career teachers to network with teachers of color from throughout Florida. We offer training, mentoring opportunities, book talks, exciting guest speakers and other fun activities. Check our Facebook page for details and links for each session.

Sessions this year have featured a wide range of guests, including Adora Obi Nweze, NAACP Florida Conference president, and Princess Moss, vice president of the National Education Association (NEA).
The Teachers of Color Series will resume virtual meetings at 5:30-7 p.m. EST on:

  • Sept. 23 – Hispanic Heritage month celebration
  • Oct. 28 – National Disability Employment awareness month
  • Nov. 18 – American Indian Heritage month celebration

The Across the Bridge Project for education staff professionals

Education staff professionals from across the state have been busy with professional development this past spring and summer. During spring 2021, 71 ESP members from 16 locals participated in six online trainings focused on self-care, leadership, dealing with grief and technology. These members were able to participate in the first ever Across the Bridge Project funded by an American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Covid-19 grant. An electronic tablet, project T-shirt and grief packet were sent to all participating members to help build community among the group. The participants also received free books to use in their classrooms from First Book. New emerging ESP leaders identified in the Across the Bridge project were given the opportunity to attend the AFT TEACH conference online and FEA Summer Academy in July. More opportunities will be made available to this first graduating class of Across the Bridge and other education staff professionals.

Reading Endorsement Courses for teachers

This summer 11 Reading teachers from six locals were brought together to review and write curriculum for the new FEA Reading Endorsement Courses. This past year the PD department was able to train trainers in Reading Competencies 1 and 2. The summer writing teams reviewed and revised the curriculum in Reading Competencies 1 and 2 as well as wrote brand new curriculum for Reading Endorsement Courses Competencies 3, 4, and 5. We are very proud of the hard work of these talented curriculum writers. At Summer Academy, locals were able to send trainers to receive training in Competency 3. This fall and spring, locals can look forward to getting their local trainers trained to roll out Reading Competencies 4 and 5. Educators needing to earn Reading Endorsement can count on their union to provide the professional development they need.

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