Fresh is best! By using fresh, less processed and local (if possible) food products, we not only provide quality choices for students but also inject much-needed dollars into local economies and reduce our carbon footprint for future generations. Even though he is active duty Navy and is deployed for weeks or months at a time, Rex Bobblet still reads to his four children every night before they go to bed. The organization also recommends making the profession more attractive by improving educator benefits and by raising beginning teacher salaries to levels comparable to entry-level salaries for recent college graduates in other fields. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) is Chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee on agriculture. The Boblett family participates in United Through Reading, a national nonprofit program that helps ease the stress of separation for military families by having deployed parents read children’s books aloud via DVD for their kids to watch at home. “When he’s deployed, the kids race to the mailbox each day hoping to find a new package with the United Through Reading sticker on it,” says Boblett’s wife Veronica. “Each time a new package arrives we immediately play the DVD and smiles instantly spread across the kids’ faces as they see what stories Daddy picked out.” During deployments, the DVDs became part of the family routine.

Now is not the time to turn back. Department of Education’s efforts to thank educators by telling them about a special teacher you know. Be sure to use the hashtag #ThankATeacher when sharing. Nutrition updates involved serving meals with less sugar, salt, and fat. It not only gave the kids a much-needed connection to their dad, it provided that “extra set of hands” Veronica needed to throw in some laundry or clean up the kitchen. “It was like he was right there helping me like he always does,” she says. On top of that, says Herrig, is the lack of respect for the profession and teacher bashing that has become all too common in recent years. Share pictures of yourself with your favorite teacher, or your child’s favorite teacher, on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

It is vital that schools lead the charge and work with food manufacturers to provide suitable products for students. A new proposal would allow schools to opt out of nutrition rules requiring more fruits and vegetables, less sodium and more whole grain-rich products. These actions are important for two reasons: First, the federal government is currently being funded under a continuing resolution that expires December 11. With 90 percent of schools reporting that they are meeting the standards set by the HHFKA, signs are evident that the childhood obesity rate is beginning to fall. Eating healthy is a lifestyle change.

For example, as the Student Member Chair of the National Education Association, part of her job is to let education majors know about NEA’s Degrees Not Debt program, which helps members make their loan payments more affordable. The report shows that only 5 percent (89,347 students) of the nearly 1.85 million 2014 U.S. high school graduates who took the ACT® test said they intended to pursue a career as an educator—either as a teacher, counselor or administrator. As a result of HHFKA, students at Brownwood have been exposed to stricter nutritional guidelines their entire school career. It’s a long range goal. Child obesity and diabetes rates continue to highlight the legislation’s necessity.

The National Center for Education Statistics has reported that the need for elementary and secondary teachers is projected to increase over the next several years. “Quality teaching is a crucial element in getting students ready for college and career,” said Erickson. “We must be concerned not only with increasing the overall number of students who plan to become educators but also with attracting more of the best and brightest students to the field.” Along with low pay, decreasing enrollment in education programs is also a reaction to the recession years when the bottom dropped out of education funding. Don’t have a picture of a teacher? Take a photo holding a note thanking a great teacher. The relatively low career earnings of a teaching job combined with high student debt could be fueling a national teacher shortage. It is those times when I am transformed into an advisor, counselor, confidant and protector.” One of Hayes proudest accomplishments is her students’ enthusiasm for community service.

Research shows that children from active-duty military families experience higher levels of emotional difficulties during family separations than children in the general population, which can impact their academic achievement. Second, as we prepare homework market for the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act in 2015, watching this waiver go into effect would undercut nutrition standards that successfully weaned us away from the days of declaring pizza a vegetable. I can tell from watching my kids at Brownwood that patience more than legislative power need to be exhibited. The proposal was included in an Agriculture spending bill approved by the House Appropriations Committee earlier this year, but was not voted on by the full House. Use our Teacher Week cover image on your social media accounts or post this graphic.

He can help steer Congress to continue to support the gains we’ve made. And though it’s a routine part of life for military families, it takes a toll on kids. November 21, 8-9pm EST Register How to Better Meet the Needs of ELL Students February 20, 8-9pm EST   Racial Justice in the Classroom March 19, 8-9pm EST Landing Your Dream Job April 16, 8-9pm EST   How Student Learning is Impacted by Trauma May 21, 8-9pm EST   What’s next? Exploring Opportunities as an Educator June 18, 8-9pm EST   “So many things that [teachers do] fall outside of traditional teaching responsibilities. A well nourished body also has energy and endurance for physical activity. Support public education by donating to the NEA Foundation to provide professional development opportunities for educators.

NEA Student Program Chair Chelsey Herrig To help drive greater interest in the teaching profession among a diverse population of high-achieving students, ACT recommends recruiting high-achieving college students who are undecided about their future careers, or even begin recruiting in high school. “The earlier you get to them the better,” says Steve Kappler, an executive at ACT who recently spoke about the report at the Education Writer’s Association National Seminar in Chicago. “What can we do with these students to better utilize their high school education time to generate interest in the teaching profession? Perceptions get shared early so the more conversation we can have with high school students, the easier it’ll be to keep the teaching pipeline full.” Also, because ACT data indicate that relatively few minority students are interested in education as a career, recruitment efforts should target more minority students to enter the teaching pipeline – which in turn would lead to greater achievement among minority students. Unfortunately, just as students are beginning to embrace healthier food choices, some in Congress are attempting to roll back standards contained in the HHFKA. Donna West, a cafeteria manager at Brownwood Elementary School in Scottsboro, AL, and an NEA board member, explains why such a move would undermine not only student health, but also academic achievement. ————————- Four years ago, when we introduced wheat rolls during lunch at Brownwood Elementary School in Scottsboro, Alabama, most ended up in the garbage. Both the percentage and number have steadily dropped each year since 2010, when 7 percent of graduates (106,659 students) planned an education major. “The drop in the number of our young people who want to become an educator is truly alarming,” said Jon Erickson, ACT president. “Unless something changes quickly, the supply of new teachers may not meet the future demand.” According to the US Department of Education, a teacher shortage already exists in many states and subject areas, particularly math and science.

They actually eat their wheat rolls! But the struggle continues. Research shows us that proper nutrition improves concentration and test scores while decreasing disciplinary issues. This may require increased funding to modernize kitchens, update equipment, and train education support professionals (ESPs) to prepare more food on site from scratch. The satisfaction that comes from watching “students take ownership of their community is unmatched,” said Hayes. ________________________________________________ During National Teacher Appreciation Week, Obama called on Americans to recognize the hard work and dedication of our nation’s teachers and to observe this day and this week by supporting teachers through appropriate activities, events and programs. Even though the economy is turning around and teacher positions are more abundant, funding cuts are still forcing many districts to consider lay-offs. Sometimes, members can have loans forgiven. “We also need to do a better job highlighting the difference we make as educators,” she explains. “The media is constantly featuring negative aspects of teaching – some of them very real, like the high stakes testing mania – but we need to counteract those reports by showing potential educators how rewarding education is.” Herrig also recommends that more educators get involved in their local NEA, not only to attract more to the profession but to make their own working conditions better. “We need to find ways to improve the conditions that too many aspiring educators see as a reason to pursue their second career choice.” Lawmakers in Congress have proposed allowing schools to temporarily opt out of the healthy school lunch standards put in place by the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act.

Engaging Beyond the Parent-Teacher Conference September 19, 8-9pm EST Download How to create a positive learning environment October 17, 8-9pm EST Download We did it, so can you: Surviving your first year in the classroom. But while Herrig was determined to be in the classroom, many in her education program decided to switch majors and pursue different career paths. “One of the main reasons was that they were afraid the low-paying salary wouldn’t cover the cost of their enormous student loans,” she says. We should not fall back but instead move full steam ahead into funding the purchase of fresh produce, adequate kitchen equipment and food storage facilities. Students who are properly fueled are more likely to stay on task and are better able to focus on their studies. Doesn’t matter how you do it – just be sure and thank a teacher this week.

You can also join the U.S. Contact your congressional member and ask that they support the HHFKA by rejecting a waiver. It will take time to fully see the results of this cultural shift in school menus. Although she initially didn’t expect her work and influence to extend beyond the classroom walls, Hayes has always encouraged students to be active players in making their neighborhoods a better place through multi-faceted service projects for Habitat for Humanity, Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society. He might be thousands of miles away, but all that the children need to do is pop in a DVD and there he is, reading their favorite books to each of them in funny voices and asking them questions about the plot and characters. The number and percentage of high school graduates interested in becoming an educator have significantly declined over the past four years, according to The Condition of Future Educators, a new report from ACT.

Photo: Associated Press Each night at bed time, the kids got a Hershey kiss as a goodnight kiss from their father, and then they’d listen to him reading a story while they followed along with their own copy of the book. Our own Rep. The tens of millions of kids now getting better nutrition in school need your help. In the 2008-2009 school year, teaching positions were slashed around the country and tens of thousands of educators were given pink slips. More nutrition education is necessary for students to embrace healthier foods. Here’s How You Can Thank a Teacher: Join our 2016 #ThankATeacher Campaign.

See how others are celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week here. It is also a direct affront to parents who strive to serve healthy food at home and look to schools to partner with them in this effort. There is also a need for food service workers to create a greater variety of nutritious, tasty and appealing meals for students. It takes time to move forward, but I am seeing it happen at Brownwood. The one-year waiver being proposed in Congreess is a stark retreat from promoting healthier meal standards in schools.

When Chelsey Herrig was working on her degree in Elementary Education at Southwest Minnesota State University, she looked forward to the day she would be helping her young students realize their dreams and full potential. At the time, we were starting our “healthy school challenge.” Fortunately, with patience and persistence the changes are now an accepted part of our food culture and our students are healthier for it. A similar Senate bill does not include the waiver language. Petition your local representatives to make National Teacher Day official in your state. Many families in this country cannot afford fresh fruits as a healthy snack alternative.

So introduction of fruits and vegetables at school are key to helping students make the connection between a healthy snack and one that has no nutritional value. Educators themselves can play an important role in attracting more young people to the profession, Herrig says. Some of this progress is the result of having legislation like the HHFKA that promotes more healthy and nutritious meals for our students.  A RAND Corporation study found a strong association between children who have endured separations from a parent due to deployment and lower achievement in reading and math. If we revert to serving less nutritious meals, even for one year as some in Congress propose, we could increase health care costs and diminish the quality of life for an entire generation. Congress has an opportunity to keep America’s school meals moving forward toward helping raise a healthier generation.

It seems that almost every other day there’s a new headline blaming teachers for all the ills in our education system. “Some people have told me they decided against education because there were fields where they could do what they love and be respected,” she says. But it is worth pursuing. Separation Anxiety One of the most difficult things a child can experience is having a parent deployed to a militarized zone for an indeterminate period of time. With the advent of the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA), which set higher nutritional standards for school lunches, I expect many food service workers across the country were experiencing the same agony I was at seeing whole grain bread, fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods end up in the trash.