MEA, a Fall weekend unique to Minnesota, is here


Courtesy of the SFHS Crier website

Thanks to the Minnesota Educator Academy (MEA), students and teachers get to enjoy a four day weekend.

On October 21, a time-honored Minnesota tradition dating back to 1861 will begin: MEA weekend. Every year, on the third week of October, students get Thursday and Friday off. Students and teachers have a variety of trips and activities planned for the 2021 MEA weekend.

MEA stands for Minnesota Educators Academy and was created in 1861 as an annual conference that the Education Minnesota teachers union hosted. MEA was created for all educators to join together for the two-day conference in St. Paul, but now, only those who are invited are allowed to attend. During the two-day break, teachers will either take part in professional development classes to expand their teaching skills or will use it as a time to rest just like their students.

With busy lives, college deadlines approaching, and a need to rest, students and teachers will either choose to stay at home over MEA break or take part in a quick getaway. Plans will vary as some decide to spend time with family at their cabins, taking a vacation to warmer climates, and continuing with sports. Some members of our community need to unwind. “I usually leave but this year has been a little nuts and we got new computers, and I’m still gathering myself… I’ve heard a lot about the Squid Game show, so might start Squid Game. We just finished Ted Lasso, maybe catch up on some Xbox, really not sure yet.” Bill Cheney said.

Some students find it more rejuvenating to travel rather than stay at home. The four days off give people enough time to travel far and take in their final destination. It’s the perfect weekend to get a quick trip in, filled with activities, friends, and family. “I’m going to Charleston with my friend and my family… We’re gonna go to the beach and go to a lot of fancy dinners and tour colleges.” sophomore Kate Walesch said.

Some students are planning to get ahead on their studies over MEA break such as getting caught up on homework, taking standardized tests, college applications, etc. “I think I’m actually taking the ACT”, said Jackson Sando, a junior who usually stays home during MEA.

Another popular activity that students are planning to undertake is physical activity. Student-athletes often choose to stay at home to stay on top of their sports. Some intend to spend their break on the court, rink, or field. “[I’ll be doing] Straight Fortis weight room.” said Gino Gatti, a senior who is committed to fitness and hockey, when asked what his plans were for the long weekend.

Students and teachers look forward to exploring, getting a grip on life, and a mental break. The four day designated break has been cherished since 1861. MN school hallways are empty, airports are filled, and everyone is enjoying their time off.