Use intrinsic motivation, not gimmicks or rewards, to inspire students, Wisconsin’s 2017 Teacher of the Year writes

Using gimmicks or rewards to get students to study or perform tasks can backfire by damaging their “innate intrinsic motivation,” Sun Prairie teacher Chris Gleason writes in a new Teacher Leader Voices blog posted this week at EdWeek.org. “I believe that we need to ‘work with’ kids and not ‘do things to’ them. We need to fan the flames of curiosity in every child and foster their love of learning,” writes the 2017 Wisconsin Teacher of the Year, who is a member of WEAC Region 6.

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Special education enrollment increasing

“The number of students receiving special education in the nation’s public schools is on the rise, according to a new federal report. There were 6.7 million kids with disabilities in classrooms across the country during the 2015-2016 school year, accounting for 13.2 percent of all students. That’s up from 6.6 million the year prior.” (From disabilityscoop.com)

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Public school supporters call for results at final School Funding Commission hearing

Wisconsin public education supporters united at the Capitol Monday to send a final message to members of the Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding, which is holding the last of its statewide tour of public hearings in Madison. “We believe every student in every public school in Wisconsin deserves equal access and equal opportunity to receive an equally excellent public education,” said Heather DuBois Bourenane, Executive Director of Wisconsin Public Education Network. “The state is not currently meeting this obligation. To do so, our public school districts and community members have made clear their needs for a funding formula that is predictable, sustainable, transparent, and adequate to meet student needs.”

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Spotlight on Locals: United Lakewood Educators-Muskego

In her latest Spotlight on Locals column, WEAC Vice President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen visits with leaders of United Lakewood Educators-Muskego, which has a history of strength that it is maintaining through a calm and measured approach. Co-President Anna Wendt says ULE-Muskego advocates for students and its members and “has been a level-headed support network and a voice of reason.”

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Greendale High School teacher Ben Hubing is Wisconsin’s James Madison Fellow

Greendale High School (GHS) social studies teacher, Ben Hubing, a member of WEAC Region 7, has been selected as the James Madison Memorial Fellow for the state of Wisconsin. As part of the James Madison Memorial Fellow program, Hubing will spend four weeks in an upcoming summer studying the U.S. Constitution, founding fathers, and other documents significant to American Government and U.S. History at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

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Wisconsin Public Television resources explore Native culture and language

The Ways is a production of Wisconsin Public Television (WPT) Education. This resource is “an ongoing series of stories from Native communities around the central Great Lakes. This online educational resource for 6-12 grade students features videos, interactive maps, and digital media exploring contemporary Native culture and language. The Ways supports educators in meeting the requirements of Wisconsin Act 31, seeking to expand and challenge current understanding of Native identity and communities.”

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Legislative Update – May 29 – What’s next for the School Funding Commission?

WEAC members for the past half-year spoke up at a series of legislative public hearings about the resources we need to adequately teach our students, and now leaders of the panel holding the forums are talking about what may come next. The final hearing is set Monday, June 4, in Madison. The co-chairs of the commission say they may address critical issues such as declining enrollment and special education reimbursements. Particularly telling was that Republicans Senator Luther Olsen and Representative Joel Kitchens don’t anticipate they’ll touch school vouchers or open enrollment – both topics they said were in the scope of their work when the commission formed in December.

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Spotlight on Locals: Monona Grove Education Association

In her latest Spotlight on Locals column, WEAC Vice President Peggy Wirtz-Olsen talks with leaders of the Monona Grove Education Association, who say relationships are the key to the association’s success. “Start at the ground floor, and talk with your members,” said MGEA Secretary Jennifer Klotzbach. “Get a pulse of what’s going on and make sure your members know that you are there for them. It will have a positive snowball effect.”

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