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Feature Stories

‘Pumped’ up!

UFT members at the East Elmhurst Community School in Queens organized a “Pump the Pride” community car parade to show off their school spirit and support families on March 12.

Mission to Mars

Students from a 2019 astronomy class at Kingsbridge International HS in the Bronx were part of the historic Mars landing of NASA’s Perseverance rover in February.

Making connections in Tanzania

What do you do when your wedding in Sicily — in the church where your father was christened — has to be canceled due to the coronavirus? One Brooklyn educator decided to “take an epic honeymoon to Tanzania,” and benefit some schoolchildren to boot.

Learning by doing

Following the philosophy that “students learn by doing,” an award-winning high school STEAM teacher in Brooklyn has gotten great results.

Spotlighting ‘Hope’ amid pandemic

More than 30,000 lights, spelling out the word “HOPE,” shined a spotlight on the number of New York City lives lost to COVID-19 in an initiative of the Urban Assembly School of Emergency Management in Manhattan from March 12 to March 14.

April 3, 2015: Union wins paperwork ruling

The union defined standards for paperwork reduction in it's 2014 DOE-UFT contract, and when a principal at John Dewey HS in Brooklyn ignored those standards in 2015, the contract enabled the union to hold the principal accountable.

Creating a burn to learn

The UFT's 115 in-school Teacher Centers, located in all five boroughs, support educators as they investigate best practices, seek out new materials and collaborate to improve their instruction and, during the pandemic, have also helped with the successful transition to remote teaching. 

Tales from a unique school year

The 2020–21 school year is demanding ingenuity, flexibility and patience from New York City public school educators in all job titles. Both in-person and remote functional chapter members are grappling with the unique challenges of serving their students during a pandemic. These are their stories.

Using his head

Joseph Buro's students at Staten Island Technical HS can really get inside their teacher's head during Buro's 3D computer-aided design class. For their remote teaching lessons on biomedical engineering, Buro uses images of his own CAT scan, taken when he had skull surgery in 2019.

A tale from Ina Friedman, school secretary

A city DOE employee since 1986, Friedman says she now works 24/7. “My phone is always with me. Teachers who work in the building call or text me if they're going to be out and then I have to get a sub. That’s been much harder this year.” She misses the kids and hopes they’ll soon be “yelling and screaming and smiling and laughing without a mask on.”