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UFT welcomes new teachers

Miller Photography

Newer teachers pay close attention at the Queens reception. More photos >>

Dave Sanders

Michelle Russon of PS 1 in the Bronx takes note of relevant information. More photos >>

Remaining new teacher receptions

STATEN ISLAND: Nov. 27, 4–6 p.m., at the Staten Island Borough Office, 4456 Amboy Road.
MANHATTAN: Dec. 4, 4:15–6:15 p.m., at UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway.
BROOKLYN: District 15 on Dec. 11, 4–6 p.m., at the Brooklyn Borough Office, 335 Adams St., 25th Floor. District 17, District 23 and High School new teacher meetings have been postponed.
Contact for new dates.

New teachers from across the city have been getting an assist from the UFT, with receptions in each borough to welcome them and provide resources in a wide range of areas all under one roof.

The introductory meetings have been and will be hosted by each borough except in Brooklyn, where each district is holding its own gathering.

At each meeting, the new teachers are joined by their district representatives, chapter leaders and union experts. They receive information on Welfare Fund benefits, certification and licensing, maternity leaves, the UFT Teacher Center, special education reform, the retirement system and pensions, and school safety.

In Queens, more than 140 teachers with three or fewer years of experience attended an Oct. 18 reception. The union experts offered guidance, answered questions, shared resources and made personal connections so new teachers can reach them at a later date if necessary, said Tabio Da Cruz, the borough’s educational liaison.

UFT Queens Borough Representative Rona Freiser told new teachers, “This is your union hall; you should feel at home here,” as she walked them through the office.

Ongoing Especially for New Teachers workshops will be taking place at the UFT Queens office throughout the fall, from 4 to 6 p.m. The first, on building parent-teacher partnerships, was held on Oct. 24, and provided new teachers with information on techniques for a successful parent-teacher conference.

Upcoming are a workshop on analyzing student work on Dec. 5, workshops on new tenure requirements on Nov. 27 and Dec. 11, a certification and licensing workshop on Dec. 6 and a workshop on developing quality lesson plans on Jan. 8.

In the Bronx, UFT Borough Representative Jose Vargas welcomed more than 100 educators with a new teacher fair on Oct. 15, inviting them to “immerse yourselves in the life of the union” and explaining that the UFT is here to support them both educationally and contractually.

Members were able to visit a mentor table to make sure that every first-year teacher not only has a mentor at school, but one to reach out to for certification purposes; a Share My Lesson table to introduce them to the free lesson plans they can access online; a Dial-A-Teacher table to learn about the UFT’s homework helpline; and a UCAN (Uniting Communities and Neighborhoods) table to learn about community projects that new teachers can get involved in and use for community credits in their teaching portfolios.

“We gave out information on thumb drives and everyone was so appreciative,” said District 12 Representative Steven Goldberg. “New teachers are so limited in their time. They’re in school all day, so they were happy to get this information all at one time and see the support that exists for them.”

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