Social Justice in Schools Across New Jersey
Steve Adubato goes on-location to the 2018 NJEA Convention to talk to Sean Spiller, Vice President, New Jersey Education Association, about the role of social justice as a theme of the convention, as well as an overall goal in schools.
"I'm Steve Adubato. More importantly, we are in Atlantic City. This is the NJEA 165th Convention. These folks have been getting together for obviously more than a few years. So in this half hour, you're going to meet educators, you're going to meet officers from the NJEA, we also talked to the Commissioner of Education, the keynote speaker here, talking about issues that matter to our children, the students of today, what it's like to be an educator in today's classroom, new technology and the impact that it's having, issues of race, issues of diversity and inclusion... all kinds of issues that impact our children your children, my children and the great teachers who teach them every day... at the NJEA convention. Our pleasure to introduce the Vice President of the NJEA, Sean Spiller. Good to see you, Sean. Good to see you too. Tell folks about your teaching background. You started when and why? Oh. A number of years ago, now. It goes by so quickly. I... science.... High School science teacher... anatomy and physiology and started in Kinnelon, New Jersey and ended up in Wayne for the majority of the time that I've been teaching and I love it. Love every minute of it. I love the kids, love what I do. It's one of the greatest professions in the world. We should also make it clear that Sean and I know each other from the same home town, if you will. You recently became the deputy mayor of... Deputy mayor, yes. ... the great town of... Yes. ... Montclair? That's right. Now I can marry people. So, if you know anybody that... yes. I plan on staying married and I also will not... and I will not bring up property taxes in Montclair. Oh, fair enough. Fair enough. Is it fair to say that... I pay them too, so yes, I got it. People bring that up in town, don't they? Yeah yeah yeah. You hear it a little bit. Let's talk education. Thank you. Thank you. This convention... Yes? Social justice is a big theme. Someone might say, "Why are we talking about social justice with educators in public schools?" Yeah. You say? I think we have to be. You know, we educate kids every day, and every day those kids come in... they want to learn, they.... they're excited to, but they come in with a lot of challenges, in many cases. And a lot of that is that social justice work, that... that education justice, which leads to student success, which is the theme that we have for the convention. Because we understand that if we're just closing our classroom doors, just trying to bring out those textbooks and hopefully teach..."