New members throughout the city gathered at UFT borough offices this fall to network with colleagues, meet their UFT representatives and get important information.
The gatherings were part of the special outreach that the UFT’s New Member Initiative does each year to engage and inform the union’s newest members.
The meet-and-greet events in each borough also gave educators the opportunity to hear from UFT President Michael Mulgrew, who shared stories about his own days as a new teacher, gave advice and answered questions.
“You got into this profession for the fame, fortune and glory, correct?” he quipped to laughter at the first event in Queens on Oct. 6.
Striking a more serious note, he told the new teachers, “We all went into teaching because we want to help children. It is an amazing profession.”
Afterward, Andrew Ramsingh, a new teacher at PS 15 in St. Albans, said Mulgrew’s words were “inspiring.”
“They fired me up,” he said. “It feels good to know I’m not alone.”
Before and after Mulgrew’s remarks, members had the opportunity to visit information tables to ask questions and collect materials about their union benefits, salary, certification and more.
At the Manhattan event at UFT headquarters on Nov. 16, Manhattan Borough Representative Dwayne Clark urged new members to take advantage of the union’s resources.
“We want to make sure you feel supported,” he said.
As the event drew to a close, the new members clapped and cheered for each other as 10 Yoobi boxes full of classroom supplies were raffled off.
“Winning the box was the best part!” said Saray Caruso, who teaches a dual language 2nd-grade class at PS 182 in East Harlem.
She continued, “The whole event was very informative. To hear about what every new teacher goes through makes me feel much better now.”