As life in city public schools edges closer to “normal,” educators around the city are getting support from UFT Teacher Centers as they help students recover academically from two years of pandemic restrictions. And they are renewing relationships with colleagues around the city at UFT events, such as the Career and Technical Education Awards ceremony, and around the state, at the 50th anniversary NYSUT Representative Assembly.
When Cara Jacofsky began her teaching career 23 years ago, she was determined to become the best teacher she could be for her students, so she connected with the UFT Teacher Center.
“The first few years of my teaching career, they would plan lessons with me and give me materials,” Jacofsky said. “It helped build the foundation of my teaching.”
So when her school, PS 107 in Queens, was getting its own Teacher Center site this school year, Jacofsky applied for — and was selected to be — the site coach. “Helping someone the way I was helped is my goal,” she said.
Citywide, 134 Teacher Center sites in 118 school buildings are providing vital support for public school educators as they help their students recover academically from two years of COVID-…
The UFT connected its members with their state representatives in online meetings from March 7-11 to champion the union’s proven programs — including the United Community Schools initiative, the UFT Teacher Center and the Positive Learning Collaborative — during a week of advocacy for city public schools. UFT members sounded the alarm about students, educators and school communities still recovering from the pandemic.
On a chilly March morning in the basement of IS 145 in Jackson Heights, Queens, a team of eight teacher leaders was grappling with the challenge of how to discuss iReady assessment data with teachers and students.
“When my students look at the data and see themselves so far below grade level, they’re devastated,” said Carla Carballo, the school’s special education liaison.
“Maybe — I’m just brainstorming here — we use the Habits of Mind as a way into the conversation about data,” replied ELA teacher Samantha Chung, a master teacher, referring to an identified set of 16 problem-solving, life-related skills. “The first Habit of Mind is persistence. We can ask students, ‘Where does the data show you persisting?’”
As they talked, restorative justice teacher Taniqua Scott took notes on a shared Google document, while special education teacher Lindsay Roscus, a peer collaborative teacher, interjected to keep the group foc…
Natalie Kavral is a 2011 graduate of the plumbing program at Queens Technical High School. Now, more than a decade later, Kavral, one of only two female plumbing teachers in New York City public schools, teaches plumbing and runs the plumbing program at her alma mater.
Ten students from P396 K, a District 75 school in Brownsville, Brooklyn, read books they wrote during a Zoom presentation on Feb. 11, as part of an evening with the Sid Miller Academy Authors, a program begun during the pandemic to foster literacy and creativity at the school.
“We make a difference” was the theme at the UFT’s Paraprofessionals Festival and Awards Luncheon on March 5, celebrating paraprofessionals for rising to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last held in person in 2019, the luncheon was held at UFT headquarters and streamed online.
A high school where students do maintenance work on airplanes. A student-created clothing brand that sells out of a student-run, brick-and-mortar store. These were just a few of the innovative Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs represented by the honorees at the UFT’s CTE Awards Ceremony on March 15 at UFT headquarters in Manhattan.
Spring was in the air on March 19 at the UFT’s 14th annual Early Childhood Conference, where laughter, play and learning emerged after a difficult winter for nearly 400 educators — a blend of in-person participants at UFT headquarters and remote attendees.
As students returned this year to full-time, in-person learning, school counselors have helped them deal with the toll of two years of trauma. Counselors discussed their work and learned new strategies on March 12 at their 18th annual conference.
Hundreds of children, families and educators were able to expand their home and school libraries thanks to more than 11,000 free books given away by the AFT and the UFT on March 19 during the “Reading Opens the World” Family Literacy and Book Fair at PS 1 in Manhattan.
Workers’ compensation can provide valuable benefits to full- or part-time paraprofessionals, school nurses, occupational or physical therapists, administrative employees and substance abuse prevention/intervention specialists who have a work-related injury or occupational illness.
Spring is the time for school chapter leaders to discuss with their chapter members and then with their principal the school-based options they want in place for the 2022–23 school year. SBOs allow UFT members the opportunity to collaboratively modify contractual articles and/or create positions that the contract does not automatically allow.
Suicide can often be prevented with appropriate awareness and intervention. As educators, our awareness is particularly important. Stay vigilant for early warning signs and risk factors in students and colleagues so you can help.
If you want a new opportunity, wish to work closer to home or have been placed in excess, the Open Market Transfer Plan gives you the chance to apply for a position at another school. You can view vacancies citywide and apply during the open market transfer period, from April 13 to Aug. 8. This Q&A addresses the most commonly asked questions about the transfer process.
Whether you are a new member, in mid-career or close to retirement, there are steps you can take to learn about your pension benefits and stay on track as you progress down the road to a financially secure retirement.
UFT Vice President for Academic High Schools Janella Hinds writes that high school educators routinely face challenges, and during the pandemic, we found little joy. Connecting with our quest for joy in our craft remains an undeniable part of our work. But how? The answer: school-based, collective solutions.
The past two years have proven that New York City is home to some of the most skilled and hard-working educators in the country. The highest form of respect comes when education policy makers really listen to what these classroom educators have to say.
With a bounty of federal stimulus funds for education, we have a once-in-a-generation chance to permanently strengthen New York City public schools. But with his proposed preliminary budget, the mayor is squandering that opportunity.
In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis has conscripted public school educators to push his anti-LGBTQ agenda. The Parental Rights in Education Law he signed in March prohibits classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade.
With spring in bloom, teachers are exploring creative ways to bring joy into their classrooms during a stressful time. They share some ideas that have worked in their classrooms to help make learning fun.
All teachers, even brand-new ones, have a stake in political matters. Consider the ways in which you might deepen your engagement with issues outside the classroom that matter to public school educators.
Some of Fred Salamone’s most memorable early learning experiences were in hands-on activities. Now, curiosity, experiential learning and fun are the key ingredients in Salamone’s science classes at PS 171 in Astoria, Queens.
Ordinary times, posed as a longed-for ideal, beg the question: When will we ever get back to normal, or at least a new normal?
Extraordinary times can force us to rise, with the excitement of opportunity, out of a familiar comfort zone. Take our careers in public education as participants in the Great School Wars, when our comfortable ways were often turned topsy-turvy. Some change was welcomed, while some was disruptive.
In 1940, Eleanor Roosevelt was asked to speak to a raucous Democratic Party convention, where her husband was being nominated for an unprecedented third term as president, just as war was about to engulf a reluctant United States of America. In a calm, understated speech, she tapped into the democratic faith of the delegates by simply saying, “This is no ordinary time.” Her quiet words transformed their anxiety with a challenge to join together in common purpose at an extraordinary mome…
From offering support through friendly phone calls to advocating for retirees as they navigate the health care system, the geriatric social workers of the UFT's Retiree Social Services give free and confidential assistance to thousands of members each year.
Deborah Dolan, a retired literacy instructor, is a member of the Vital Volunteers of the Van Cortlandt Park Alliance, helping to create an awareness of the Bronx park among its users and to plant the seeds for nurturing the park well into the future.