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School Leadership Team meeting at UFT Brooklyn borough office

‘An eye-opener’
New York Teacher
Parent Hashim Muhamad Graham (standing) of Medgar Evers College Prep in Brooklyn
Miller Photography

Parent Hashim Muhamad Graham (standing) of Medgar Evers College Prep in Brooklyn leads the guess-the-role exercise with (seated, from left) PS 1 Principal Arlene Ramos, parent Refugio Escamilla and math coach Jessica Tamerlani.

The School Leadership Team at PS 1 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, holds its meetings in both Spanish and English so “everyone feels comfortable,” says Chapter Leader Kathleen Massar. Its meeting on April 8 had another twist: It was held at the UFT’s Brooklyn borough office with an audience of more than 60 parents and educators. At the invitation of the UFT’s Brooklyn parent outreach committee, the meeting was turned into a learning exercise and the team members were not identified by role. Afterward, the audience had to guess which member was the principal, a parent, and so on. The audience correctly identified every member except the chair, who convenes the meeting, and the recorder, who takes notes. Those roles “should be a shared responsibility, not led by just one constituency,” Massar said. The meeting “was an eye-opener” for School Leadership Team members from other schools who observed, said Betty Zohar, the UFT parent-community liaison. Zohar hopes attendees spread the message that “everybody on the team should be equal. No one should have power over any of the other team members.”