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New York TeacherDecember 22, 2022

Volume LXIV, Number 3
It’s all about being there for students. Culturally attuned and linguistically diverse educators support the unique learning and social-emotional needs of newcomers to city public schools while the UFT bolsters students through its anti-bullying conference; its partnership with MindUp, an evidence-based social-emotional learning program; and its coat and toy drives for children in need.

Cover Stories

Ensuring
Awards & Honors

Ensuring ‘All Are Welcome’

Lisa Friscia, the 2022 Elementary TESOL Teacher of the Year, has helped build a strong and vibrant ENL instructional practice at PS 39 on Staten Island that engages and empowers English language learners.

Making newcomers feel at home
Learning Curve

Making newcomers feel at home

More than half — about 75,000 — of the approximately 140,000 English language learners in New York City public schools have lived in the United States for fewer than three years. They need the support of culturally attuned and linguistically diverse educators to meet their unique learning and social-emotional needs.

Latest News

class size, overcrowded, overcrowding
News Stories

Contract gets action on class size

Just two of this school year’s grievances over excessive class sizes citywide remained unresolved by Thanksgiving — thanks to a powerful provision in the 2018 Department of Education-UFT contract.

Teacher standing over students working at a desk
News Stories

Building ‘calm and focus’

About 60 schools this year joined the UFT’s pilot partnership with MindUp, an evidence-based social-emotional learning program conceived by the Goldie Hawn Foundation to support educators' and students' mental health.

Feature Stories

Turning a page at Queens school

Turning a page at Queens school

The library at Bard HS Early College in Long Island City, Queens, is getting a makeover to make it more accessible for students with disabilities, thanks to a partnership between Jess deCourcy Hinds, the school’s library director, and students in the school’s Abled-Disabled Alliance.

They tackled how to make the 1,500-square-foot space easier for someone in a wheelchair to navigate, but the team also looked for ways to make all the library’s users feel welcome.

The library project is emblematic of the cultural and pedagogical shifts the 14-year-old school has made since it began serving students with Individualized Education Programs seven years ago, said Chapter Leader David Price.

Bard students have risen to the occasion and embraced inclusive classrooms, said special education teacher John Grauwiler, one of the faculty advisers of the Abled-Disabled Alliance. “I like to think that through all of these efforts,…

A man teaching bike repair

Putting a new spin on learning

Using the school cafeteria as a shop, 4th-graders at PS 143 in Corona, Queens, learn bike mechanics, incorporating hands-on elements into their study of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

Nigill Johnson
News Stories

‘An intolerable burden’

The UFT is fighting to preserve the "unicorn" status of premium-free health care for New York City public school educators, even as most public and private sector employees have to pay hefty premiums.

More in Feature Stories

Member Spotlight

Anthony Rosario
What I Do

Anthony Rosario, community school director

At Hudson HS, a United Community School in Chelsea in Manhattan, Community School Director Anthony Rosario helps the school community address unmet needs through wraparound services.

Ramona Abraham-Coley
Chapter Leader Shoutout

Kudos to Ramona Abraham-Coley, NYC Museum School, Manhattan

Museum School Chapter Leader Ramona Abraham-Coley successfully used the school-based option process in the DOE-UFT contract to organize her members and arrive at a new staff schedule for this school year that works for both her members and the administration.

Around the UFT

Four people pose for a photo and one is holding an award.

Teacher Union Day 2022

UFT members showed up in force for Teacher Union Day on Nov. 6 to recognize their colleagues' dedication to the union and to unite in solidarity to face the battles ahead.

A girl wearing a Santa hat and mask looks at the camera

UFT holiday party and toy drive

The UFT welcomed 80 children from eight city shelters to a special holiday celebration organized in partnership with Coalition for the Homeless on Dec. 10 at union headquarters in Manhattan.

Federation of Nurses

Federation of Nurses/UFT Professional Issues Conference

Hundreds of Federation of Nurses/UFT members gathered on Nov. 18 at union headquarters for their annual Professional Issues Conference to delve into some of their key concerns and honor colleagues who have helped improve working conditions.

Middle School Anti-Bullying

Middle School Anti-Bullying Conference

Roughly 500 students and educators attended the UFT’s Middle School Anti-Bullying Conference on Oct. 25 at union headquarters, where they learned strategies to identify and prevent bullying and become ambassadors for their schools.

Psychologists Appreciation Day

Psychologists Appreciation Day 2022

More than 100 school psychologists came to UFT headquarters on Nov. 10, with hundreds more attending remotely, to mark the union’s sixth annual Psychologists Appreciation Day.

Your Rights and Benefits

Know Your Benefits
optical benefits

Eyeglasses and contact lenses

As a member of the UFT Welfare Fund, you and your eligible dependents can obtain optical services once every two years.

Know Your Rights
hand writing in a notepad

Lesson plans

The union has negotiated and advocated strongly for many years to maintain the integrity of lesson plans as a tool created by and for teachers. 

Your Well-being
Women with hands covering face and a spiral of shapes indicating stress

Tackling burnout

Educators have stressful jobs with long hours and a range of challenges, and they may experience burnout as a result. Here are some signs of burnout and ways to address it.

You Should Know

Grants, Awards & Freebies
A teacher with young students

Grants, Awards & Freebies

See our list of current opportunities for educators to receive funds and recognition for their hard work and dedication. 

For Your Information
Generic image - piggybank, teacher's choice

Jan. 13 is the deadline to use your Teacher’s Choice funds

You should submit your receipts for Teacher's Choice purchases made between Aug. 1, 2022, and Jan. 13, 2023, along with the Teacher’s Choice Accountability Form detailing your purchases, by Jan. 17, 2023, to your payroll secretary.

For Your Information
Generic classroom photo - Spanish/ELL

Use the union’s advocacy tool to help English language learners

UFT members can use the union’s English language learners complaint form to advocate for English language learners.

Secure Your Future
Retirement calculator

TRS self-service website

The TRS website was built to enable members to manage their accounts on their own schedules, and TRS routinely adds features.

Secure Your Future
Tax return generic

TDA contribution limits to increase in 2023

The Internal Revenue Service has announced that the maximum contribution people may make to their Tax-Deferred Annuity accounts will increase in 2023.

Secure Your Future
retirement finance

Five-year vesting

All TRS and BERS members are now considered vested after they have completed five years of service in the pension system. 

Secure Your Future
retirement finance

Purchasing prior service credit

If you were employed by New York City or New York State prior to working for the city Department of Education, you may be able to buy prior service credit that would increase the size of your prospective service pension and may more quickly qualify you for retirement benefits.

Opinions

President's Perspective
Michael Mulgrew speaks at a healthcare rally at City Hall

At a health care crossroads

Make no mistake, the escalating cost of health care is a national issue that requires federal intervention. But in the meantime, we must figure out a way to stabilize the cost of our own health benefits so we can avoid premiums for at least the next five years.

VPerspective
A student holds a poster reading "Anti-Bullying event"

Bullying knows no bounds

UFT Vice President for Middle Schools Richard Mantell writes that after holding his annual Middle School Anti-Bullying Conference in October, he learned his 28-year-old daughter had been bullied when she was in middle school. While he was shocked, he was not surprised.

Editorials

No room for charters

Picking up on Mayor Eric Adams’ more welcoming attitude, the charter lobby is flexing its muscles again and Eva Moskowitz, Success Academy’s rapacious chief executive, is trying to elbow her way into yet more district schools.

Editorials
Randi Weingarten speaks at Teacher Union Day

Pandering Pompeo

Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump’s former secretary of state, tried to grab the lead in the Republican race to the bottom when he declared just before Thanksgiving that “the most dangerous person in the world is Randi Weingarten” and asserted that the nation’s educators teach “filth.”

Editorial Cartoons
A cartoon image of Santa holding up a note from an NYC student

Dear Santa

"Dear Santa, Please keep Success Academy out of our building. We need the space for us! Thank you, Jada, MS 318"

Teaching Resources

Linking to Learning
Gonoodle Screenshot

Exercising tech options for phys ed

Digital tools can be helpful additions to physical education classes to enhance student motivation, fine-tune form, accommodate differentiation and offer choices to students.

Teacher to Teacher
Two stick figures sitting at a table with puzzle thought bubble

Strategies to support honors students with IEPs

With careful planning and thoughtful collaboration, students with disabilities can thrive in accelerated education. 

Building Your Career

Inside My Classroom
Inside my classroom

Showcasing a diverse student population

To showcase the diverse student population at PS 60 in Queens, this ENL teacher created an interactive, multicultural experience where students are able to locate their native country on the world map and share fun facts that represent the uniqueness of each culture.

New Teacher Articles
Boy doing homework

Homework: what's helpful and what isn't

If you haven’t already developed a personal homework philosophy, it can be helpful to devote some time to considering the practical value of the homework you plan to assign and the logistics around its submission and grading. As you do so, keep in mind the “three Ds” of what homework should allow students to do.

New Teacher Profiles
Life lessons

Life lessons

Jenna Marrazzo, a second-year teacher at PS 42 on Staten Island, stepped up in her first year on the job to support and advise the school's newly invigorated student council, which had gone dormant during the pandemic.

Retired Teachers News

Tom Murphy
RTC Chapter Leader Column

Our basic union rights at stake

Sometimes we must engage in fights that are so basic to a union’s ability to operate that they transcend the issues surrounding the particular threat.

We have been fighting a battle over health care, but we are now facing a threat to collective bargaining that arose from that health care battle. Collective bargaining with an employer is fundamental, and we find ourselves defending it for both our own union and for our fellow unions in the New York City Municipal Labor Committee (MLC).

Without collective bargaining, workers would return to the days when crumbs from the table would sometimes be awarded to employees if they behaved themselves and didn’t cause any trouble for those who governed the workplace. For public school educators, it meant humbly accepting multiple class assignments, lunchroom duty, hall patrol and a meager wage without adequate health, pension,…

Birdwatching
RTC Service

Learning about topics from genealogy to guitar

Thousands of UFT retirees participate in hundreds of Si Beagle Learning Center courses, seminars, trips and dine-arounds each year.

Deirdre Boyce
RTC Second Act

From pencils and papers to scalpels and scrubs

After more than 30 years of teaching world history, retired teacher Deirdre Boyce continues to educate, but as a medical surgical nurse.

More in Retired Teachers Chapter News