Thursday, July 1, 2010

Notes from Camp: July 1

Years ago, when I attended the NEA Annual Meeting as a local delegate, I began sending "Notes from Camp." These were reports back to friends and colleagues who had expressed an interest in keeping up-to-date with events occurring there. I attend now as a staff member and not a local delegate, but the reaction from various associates continues to be positive. So here's a report on this year's NEA Annual Meeting in Nea Orleans. Delegates should feel free to add their own comments: there's a link to allow you to do that.--Bill Lavezzi, executive director

Thursday, July 1, 2010

It isn't like annual meeting events actually began today: NEA has been holding various conferences since last week, and some leaders have been in town for a week. But the way NEA counts the days, today was the first day of the Annual Meeting. By the evening tonight, probably 95% of Ohio's delegates had arrived, and most of those had registered in the Ohio delegation headquarters in the Melrose Room on the third floor.

Registration and exhibits opened at the Convention Center this morning, so many delegates headed there to register and to pick up literature and assorted freebies from the various exhibitors. Leaders of state delegations were interviewing candidates for NEA positions that will be elected on Saturday.

For many delegates, this is a good day to see the host city. They don't have a lot of responsibilities yet: the RA itself won't start until Friday, and states like Ohio won't hold their first caucuses in the host city until tomorrow. The weather here has been seasonably hot and humid, but with more wind and rain than usual due to Hurrican Alex a few hundred miles away. Today there was less rain than the past couple of days, so a lot of delegates took advantage of the break to explore the French Quarter, take one of the numerous tours of the city, visit the World War II Museum, walk the Riverwalk, or see other local attractions. Some delegates discovered that Mother's Restaurant on Poydras has a great $5 early-bird breakfast. Just in time, too: starting tomorrow, delegates will have a continental breakfast at the caucus.

The big event of this evening is always Ohio Night, which is OEA's welcome of delegates to the host city. This year's Ohio Night offered dinner along with desserts, cash bars, a DJ, and dancing. It went on until midnight, but it had to do so without me: tomorrow's first caucus starts at 7:30.


For a look online at the work of the Annual Meeting, check out
For NEA's Annual Meeting Blog, go to

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