NJ Educators Discuss Key Issues In and Out of the Classroom

Steve Adubato goes on-location to the 2016 NJEA Convention in Atlantic City to talk with some of the leading educators in New Jersey about the issues facing teachers and students both in and out of the classroom. Guests include: Argine Safari, 2016-17 New Jersey State Teacher of the Year, Marie Blistain, Vice President, New Jersey Education Association, Gabriel Tanglao, Social Studies Teacher and Social Activist, Wendell Steinhauer, President, New Jersey Education Association, Michelle Thompson, Learning Leader, MTK Consultants, Ed Richardson, Executive Director, New Jersey Education Association, Lisa Funari-Willever, Author and Mark Weber, Music Educator in Warren Township.

1/27/17 #2001






"Hi, I'm Steve Adubato. Welcome to the 163rd New Jersey Education Association convention, here in Atlantic City. We're at Convention Hall. For the next half hour, you're gonna see a series of interviews that I was able to do with educators, leaders of the NJEA, authors, people who here speaking at this convention. People often wonder what happens over these two days here in Atlantic City. I'll tell you, networking, professional development, a whole range of exciting and interesting things where educators come down here and are challenged by each other, and people who come from out of state to bring in new ideas, innovative ways to teach, to engage students, to engage each other. For the next half hour, the NJEA convention, from here in Atlantic City. It's been going on for 163 years. Check it out. It is our honor and pleasure to introduce the 2016-2017 New Jersey State Teacher of the Year at the NJEA Convention here in Atlantic City. She is Argine Safari. First, congratulations! Thank you so much. Thank you. What was it like when you were told that you are, in fact, the Teacher of the Year? Oh, it was all sort of emotions. I was super excited. I couldn't believe it. I felt truly honored and blessed, and also a little scared of the amount of responsibility that this brings. Argine came to the United States with her husband in 1994, emigrated to the States from Moscow. Describe coming to this country in 1994. First of all, you've been in love with music since you were six years old? Yes. I studied music since I was six, professionally actually, and when I came to this country with my husband and my newborn daughter it was a pretty scary experience, because I was a refugee, and I was really hoping to find freedom, and you know, all the dreams of becoming an American, and taking advantage of all the opportunities that are here. And we really didn't have anything. There was really no money, no connections. So it was a challenge. It was a big challenge. But I think it's all those hard times that I had to go through that made this journey even more appealing and special to me. You told me, before we got on the air, that you loved music as far back as you can remember. But your love of teaching? My love of teaching came later. I always thought that I was gonna be a performer, I didn't think I would be a teacher. So when I came to this country I was trying to find myself looking to do different things. I went to school to study language, ended up getting another degree in finance and business, and while I was at school.."