2014 Summer Leadership Conference Tracks

OEA member participants will have the opportunity to choose from seven distinct tracks outlined below, plus an assortment of workshops to further enhance their education and training opportunities. Download the Summer Leadership Conference Participant Worksheet to help you plan your best conference possible!

Powerful Teaching and Learning: Resources and Educator Leadership for the Common Core

Access to resources and the opportunity for teachers to share their expertise and advice is at the heart of meaningful transition to the Common Core Standards.  A number of resources and supporting materials highlighting powerful practices around Common Core are emerging to empower teachers to lead curriculum and instruction.

The Center for Great Public Schools will offer hands-on, interactive sessions to explore those resources, share personal reflections and real-life insight on instructional practices that work, and share tips for student learning under the Common Core Standards.  

Instructional Resources and Tools for Teaching to the Common Core

  • Explore a variety of emerging resources to assist teachers with their practice in teaching to the Common Core 

Effective Instructional Practices that Result in Higher Levels of Achievement

  • Engage with other teachers on lesson plans and instructional practices that seem to be working in helping students meet the Common Core standards

Assessment Strategies for Learning and Assessment of Learning

  • Examine ways to assess student learning in meeting the Common Core Standards including formative and summative assessments

Organizing and Activism: Building our Collective Power with Community Allies

There has never been a more critical time to build and harness our collective power. From our Class Size Campaign to the Medford and Portland Contract Campaigns, the potential of our power and the challenges of expanding and sustaining that power are clearer than ever before.  This track will explore the practical skills and strategies members need to activate their locals into powerful, collective unions. We will utilize a strategy game scenario to simulate the fundamental issues all educators face in their communities: poorly funded schools, large class sizes, loss of art and PE, part time faculty, poverty, families in crisis, homelessness, and an ever-increasing drop in HS graduation rates. We will develop the following strategies that engage and activate our members:

  • How Union Members Make History Everyday:  Recognize your own role in the overall labor movement and connect it with OEA and NEA’s labor and economic history
  • Communications that Engage and Empower
  • Learn to Identify and Recruit New Activists into the Life of Locals 
  • Developing Practical Leadership Skills:  Gain leadership skills utilizing a hands-on model
  • Organizing our Communities for Change: Community mapping and coalition-building
  • Winning Allies on the School Board
  • Organizing Around Issues that Matter to Members and Students:  Using a case study on student homelessness, learn how to organize around issues that matter

Political Organizing for Our Future: Make Your Voice Heard!

With declining funding, increased student needs, class size and mounting teacher workload we have reached a true crisis stage. Make a difference in your working conditions for your students and your community! 

Come get first-hand experience on how to run successful election campaigns: local bond or levies, school board races, or any other pro-public education issue. A crucial component of this training will be the development of effective community coalitions. This is a hands-on track in which your team will participate in a simulated campaign that includes:

  • Voter Registration and Targeting: Finding the votes to win for your candidate or issue
  • Fundraising:  Develop the skills and methods needed to run a successful campaign
  • Building Strong Political Activists:  Learn what works to inspire member engagement
  • Recruiting, Recommending and Supporting Awesome School Board Candidates
  • Effective Bond & Levy Campaigns:  Use your new skills for any local election effort
  • Issue Organizing:  Raise awareness and make your voice heard on education policy in your school, community and at the Legislature
  • Effective Relationships & Coalition Building:  Finding allies to support our agenda.
  • Effective Communication, Internally and Externally:  Learn to develop, target and deliver an effective message.  We will also focus on working with the media, using technology and targeting social media successfully

Leading the Way to Great Public Schools: Equity, Leadership and Learning

Educators are on the frontlines every day in Oregon’s schools and classrooms supporting student success.  Educators play a powerful role in bridging the gap between opportunity and achievement by developing strong relationships within your classroom, your school, and school community.   With an increasingly diverse student population and over one-half of students in public schools living in poverty today, educator leadership in professional practice and policy is more critical now than ever in creating the opportunity for each and every student to learn. And through the collective action of your local association, educators can lead the way to great public schools.

Through participatory, hands-on workshops led by the Center for Great Public Schools, leaders and experts working in public education, participants will engage in learning about:

  • Labor-Management Collaboration to Advance Equity and Student Learning: Explore how educators are leading the way in transforming education, professional practice and student learning through labor-management collaboration
  • Professional Learning Communities: Closing the achievement gap for all learners
  • A Lens on Our Practice: Setting student learning and growth goals
  • Specialized Instruction in a Proficiency World: Learn how you can differentiate instruction to meet individual student needs and utilize proficiency-based teaching practices

Strong Leader Strong Locals: Building our Capacity for Collective Power

Local education union leaders are facing more and greater challenges than ever before.  Skilled, unified leadership teams are the key to meeting these challenges.  This track will focus both on skill-building and developing strategies for building a powerful, effective, member-driven local association.   We will work together to share ideas, problem-solve and begin crafting local strategic plans.  Presidents and their leadership teams will receive tools and resources for setting strategic priorities, developing leadership around a shared vision, values and goals, and building capacity through member engagement.  The following breakout sessions will be included in this track:

  • Building Effective Teams: Explore how each of the leadership positions in a Local or Council adds to the effectiveness of the team.  Bring your whole team and build your plan together!
  • Role Training: President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary
  • UniServ Leadership Training (two sessions): General and specific training for each elected role in your Council
  • Issue Organizing: Bargaining, professional issues and political action
  • Communication: Build an effective communication plan for your team
  • Building a Powerful Local: Explore how to use the strengths of your Local and the desires of your members to build the power of your Local.  There is no “Silver Bullet” - this is about exploring were you are, where you want to be and building a plan to get there

Connecting the Dots:  How Contract Bargaining Can Build Union Power

For years now, bargaining has been happening in the context of continuous funding cuts and policies that are bad for educators and bad for students.   In this environment, bargaining needs to be approached in a comprehensive, strategic way – as a campaign that engages and empowers members while also organizing the community around a different vision of what great schools look like.

This program is designed for all bargaining teams.  We will work on the ‘traditional’ elements of bargaining – developing strong contract language, school budget analysis, costing contracts and table strategies.  We will also focus on bargaining as a strategic campaign, engaging and organizing members and our communities around contracts that advance a vision of the schools our students deserve.  These workshops are interactive and participatory.


  • Defining and Analyzing Contract Issues 
  • Developing Proposals and Writing Effective Contract Language
  • Demystifying Costing out of Contract Proposals
  • Bargaining Education Change: Educator voice in practice and policy
  • Communicating the Vision: Communications that engage, empower and organize
  • Organizing Our Communities to Support the Schools Our Students Deserve

Adult Teaching Techniques for Transformation

The hallmark of the course is the emphasis on a learner-centered approach within the union context.  Adult learners are diverse in their learning styles and an effective training or education module requires a diversity of techniques that allows each person to learn in his/her own style, while providing a quality learning experience for all. The course will begin with a review of teaching adults based on the participants’ individual and collective experiences.

By the end of the track, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the Characteristics of Adult Learners:  Create a classroom environment specific to adult learner needs
  • Create Learning Objectives:  Help members identify learning objective for adult learners
  • Identify and Apply a Variety of Participatory Techniques Appropriate to the Learning objectives
  • Using Technology: Utilizing computer programs in preparing materials, the internet to research and select new materials and a variety of visual aids to boost learner retention
  • Prepare and Teach a Class using a Teaching Outline:  Every student will be able to prepare and deliver a 20-minute workshop on a union subject of their choosing


Interest-Based Bargaining:  Is it For You?  A panel discussion of your peers on interest-based bargaining, strategies and whether or not it is right for your local. Come hear the experiences and outcomes of other locals and ask questions!

Oregon Tax Breaks Demystified: Nothing is Sexier than Tax Talk! Join us in a review of Oregon’s “tax expenditures.” Learn how these tax breaks became law, what they cost, and what we can do to close loopholes and make our system fairer, delivering the resources our state needs to fully fund public education and other critical services.

Equity for All This workshop will explore crucial issues related to economic and social equity. We will bring real life examples of success in our community led by educational professionals.

Responding to Student Violence: Practical Strategies This workshop is designed to help you deal better with violent students in a variety of settings. There will be an emphasis on practical strategies including the legal do’s and don’ts and bargaining language related to this issue.

Writing a Classroom Observation Rebuttal Learn what should and should not be included in an observation rebuttal; participants will write rebuttals using a suggested outline.

Engaging New Members This interactive workshop will explore a variety of strategies to engage our new members in our Union.   Participants will gain strategies on how to communicate, provide the right opportunities and get new members involved in their Local.

Rethinking Student Discipline: Ending the School-to-Prison Pipeline Join in conversation with Oregon educators who will share their expertise, experience and the latest research around equitable practices to address disparities in student discipline. 

The Oregon Matrix Model Learn how to utilize and incorporate Oregon’s new Matrix Model to enhance the focus of professional growth in your evaluation system and foster a culture of professional learning and collaboration.

Effective Teacher-Instructional Assistant Teams Learn strategies for effective working relationships between teachers and instructional assistants, including collaboration around core areas of shared responsibility, communication, shared planning and professional learning, and understanding legal rights and responsibilities.

Ten Ways to get Fired When our members get fired, the reasons tend to fall into some common categories. Learn what those categories are, and how you can help your colleagues and mem­bers avoid these common pitfalls.