- Several years ago, the Washington Education Association created a program to help support newer members of the profession in their jobs and to help them better understand their union. The program rapidly spread to states all over the country. The Virginia Education Association adopted the Sparks program and adapted it to fit specific needs of new VEA members.
What is it?
- A weekend retreat for VEA members who are new to Virginia's public schools and who have little or no experience with the VEA.
What is the purpose?
- To make a positive connection with newer members. Through Sparks, participants learn skills and network with other members that help them in their profession, while gaining a better understanding of their Association.
What happens at Sparks?
- The VEA Sparks program is adaptable to what you need and want. Sparks lets you make discoveries about your fellow educators and your Association on your own, related to your own priorities. You make those discoveries while learning about the issues relevant to you.
What else is different?
- We strive to have a diverse group of VEA Sparks participants to help build connections and create a climate in which you can feel comfortable having meaningful discussions around issues arising from individual differences in your professional lives.
- We limit participation to VEA members who are new to Virginia's schools and the Association so that we can help form bonds that will last for a full career. Sparks is a one-time only event. No repeat Sparkers!
- We keep in touch with your after the initial VEA Sparks weekend is over. We emphasize that VEA is here to support you throughout your career.
- We have fun. No advance agenda is provided. Participants benefit from group activities, networking, and time to relax!
Why do participants like VEA Sparks?
- We focus on you. We listen to you. We create a safe environment for you to share scary issues. We help you understand that you are not the only one going through the perils of being new to this career. AND, we have fun!
Click HERE to find out what former participants have to say about VEA Sparks!