ECOEA is the link between your local
and the Ohio Education Association

Professional development, conferences, and scholarships are open to all members


  • March 18, 2020-Virtual Rally for Public Schools-delayed!
  • April 1, 2020-Deadline to apply for ECOEA Spring Public Relations Grants
  • April 1, 2020-Deadline to apply for ECOEA Internal Organizing Grants
  • *April 25, 2020-ECOEA Spring Representative Assembly, Canton Professional EA offices
  • *May 8-9, 2020-OEA Spring Representative Assembly, Columbus Convention Center
  • June 22-24, 2020 OEA Summer Academy, Columbus
  • July 2-6, NEA Annual Representative Assembly, Atlanta, GA
  • July 21-22, 2020-ECOEA Summer Leadership-more info to follow!

*Both the ECOEA and OEA Spring Representative Assemblies and beyond may be affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The safety of our members and the public are of utmost importance. At this time, everything is subject to change. We will keep our delegates posted as we get closer to the dates.
Education blogger, Julie Holderbaum
Minerva Local Education Association; ECOEA Executive Committee, Stark County Rep; OEA Organizing Strategy Committee member

Comfort in What We Know: Surviving as a Type A Teacher in Times of Uncertainty

A week ago, I was trying to figure out how to rearrange my lesson plans to accommodate my trip to the State House on Wednesday to rally in support of public education.

Today I’m in my empty classroom, trying to plan how to teach remotely for the foreseeable future.

Last week, it was important to me to teach the classics. It was important to me that I checked every box in the common core standards. It was important to me that my students did well on their Student Learning Objectives (SLO) so my evaluation would show that I’m a good teacher. It was important to prepare for state testing.

What seemed so imperative last week seems so insignificant today.

Still, while I’ve regained some perspective, I struggle. I’m a Type A teacher who thrives on planning. It’s difficult to plan when there are so many questions and so few answers. I can’t help but feel truly overwhelmed.

I have to take comfort in what we do know, and today, there are five things that I know with absolute certainty.

The world has not stopped. The sun will rise every day. The spring flowers will still grow. My trees will still blossom. There will be worms when it rains and that delicious smell of spring in the air. There will be rainbows.

This is temporary. While we do not know exactly when our classrooms will be filled with students, we know that there will come a day when our routines will go back to normal. Remote learning and teaching are not going to last forever. Someday we will once again stress over SLOs and state testing and jammed copiers and spotty wifi. Someday we will once again all be together under the Friday night lights cheering for our football team. The stormy waters we are being tossed about in will settle down.

This is an opportunity. It’s an opportunity for us to teach what really matters in our curriculum without worrying so much about the common core standards. I’m teaching my favorite poems and short stories and essays and I’m not worrying about whether or not they fit in with where we were in my prescribed and detailed and time-tested curriculum when we went on break. Not every content area lends itself to that freedom as much as English does, but surely in any grade and any subject, we can use this as an opportunity to teach the lessons and skills we are truly excited about, and we can get creative with this freedom.

People need human connections. I’ve never wanted to be with strangers at a concert or a movie theater more in my entire life. I’ve never wanted to hug my friends and co-workers as much as I do right now. I hope that when this is over, we will remember not to take for granted the pleasure that comes from human contact, from being in the same place at the same time, whether we are high-fiving strangers at Ohio Stadium after a Buckeye touchdown or raising voices and signs on the steps of the State House, advocating for our profession.

Our kids need us. They need us to maintain those human connections with them, because for many of them, school was the one place they felt safe and cared for.
They need us to show them how to persevere through challenging times, how to be flexible, how to keep a positive attitude. They need us to let them know that we are still here, that we still care, and that they are not alone.

So, in focusing on these five things I know, I hope to take action in ways that keep me from feeling too anxious in this time of uncertainty..

I will spend time outside, sun on my face, watching the progress of my tulips and letting my dog pull me along on a walk.

I will use this time to re-evaluate my teaching practice. This forced flexibility has made me realize that I’ve become too locked in to what I teach and how I teach it. I’m now able to search for new lesson ideas online and to try out the plethora of educational websites I’ve just never had time to explore. Most importantly, I am going to rethink whether spending so much time on the “classics” from the past (Paine, Poe, Emerson, Twain) is worth it when it means I never get time to teach more recent authors (Angelou, Atwood, Lamott, Allende). Someday we will be back in our classrooms with kids, but how I spend those days and what we study may not look the same at all.

I will do everything in my power to keep those human connections with my students, for my sake as well as theirs. I’m going to call and email and Remind and Google Classroom and Flipgrid until those teenagers I love are completely annoyed, but they will know I care and that is what matters.

We know that academic and social development happens best in a school setting when students are engaging with their peers and teachers, and we just cannot provide that to them right now. But in the meantime, no one is better at meeting unexpected challenges than educators. Education has been derailed by state mandates in recent years, but this is a chance to get back to what it’s really all about, what it should always be about: the kids and their wellbeing. We didn’t go into teaching to provide politicians with data to determine if we have good schools or not. We went into teaching because we care about kids. If we keep that in mind, remote learning won’t feel so remote.

Maybe my students won’t get the exact same lessons they would have if we weren’t in this situation, but I have to be okay with that. I suspect that the lessons we all learn during this unplanned hiatus might be the kind that mean far more and last much longer than anything a perfectly planned unit can teach anyway. 

OEA/NEA Micro-Credentials are competency-based,online professional development courses available FREE to any licensed educator OEA member.
There are 70 micro-credentials organized into 22 topics from Arts Integration to Technology Integration to Restorative Practices. Need some PD hours? Explore this option to add some professional development to your day without leaving your home. Check it out!
ECOEA INTERNAL ORGANIZING GRANTS of $500 are available to locals to use for activities and incentives within the local to build capacity and engage members. ECOEA annually awards ten grants of up to $500 by a competitive grant application. Locals have used their grants to fund back-to-school events, association T-shirts, teacher recognitions, professional trainings, meeting refreshments and more that go directly to members within the association. See the ECOEA website for complete details and a link to the application. Deadline to apply is 5 PM, Wednesday, April 1st!
ECOEA SPRING PUBLIC RELATIONS GRANTS of up to $500 are available to locals to participate in and contribute to activities to enhance the image of the local within their community. Past PR Grant local recipients have contributed to local food banks, bought banners at local ballfields and gymnasiums, community races, tables at festivals and fairs. A positive image of the association is made by participating in and contributing to local events in the community through our Public Relations Grants. Get your Local Association name out there in your community to show your Association in a positive activity! See the ECOEA website for information and a link to the application. These are competitive grants so plan your best idea, get the approval of your local president to implement, and apply! Grants need to be documented and completed by December 31, 2020.
Deadline to apply is April 1, 2020 by 5:00 PM.
The annual ECOEA Legislative Dinner was held on Friday, March 6 at LaPizzaria in Canton with over 100 members and guests in attendance. We welcomed the following guests who dined with members and then participated in the panel discussion:
  • Senator Kirk Schuring, SD 29
  • Representative Thomas West, HD 49
  • Representative Reggie Stoltzfus, HD 50
  • Representative Don Jones, HD 95
  • Representative Brett Hillyer, HD 98
  • State Board of Education member Stephanie Dodd, District 9
Also attending, was special guest NEA Secretary-Treasurer Princess Moss of Virginia (pictured), accompanied by OEA President Scott DiMauro, OEA Vice President Jeff Wensing, and OEA Secretary-Treasurer Mark HIll. You can read all of the submitted questions at the button below. Ironically, not a single question was submitted on March 6 about the coronavirus. Oh, the difference a few days makes!
Congratulations to the winners of the Quinn Scholarships that will be awarded at the ECOEA Spring Representative Assembly, April 25th.
All eligible applicant names were entered into the drawings held at the March 11th ECOEA Executive Committee meeting for the two Quinn scholarships.
There were 13 applicants for the Quinn for Members drawing. The winner of the $500 scholarship is Heather Zuniga, member from Malvern Education Association. Congratulations Heather!
There were 8 applicants for the Quinn Scholarship for Students . The criteria for student applicants requires that the student be enrolled in a program leading to a degree in education. The $1,500 scholarship winner was Gregory Zuniga, a junior at Bowling Green State University studying to be an Intervention Specialist. Gregory is the son of Heather Zuniga of the Malvern Education Association. Congratulations Gregory!
Per ECOEA Policy 3.6 Access to Financial Reports-the monthly Executive Committee financial report is available to any member upon request.
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