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New York TeacherSeptember 7, 2017

Volume LIX, Number 1

Cover Stories

Calderon (center) gets a big thank you from her colleagues at the party.

Bronx para soars in new position

[[nid:102757; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; styleName:article_x_large_auto]]On a hot afternoon in June, lead teacher assistant Melissa Calderon walks along a green and white checkered hall in Archer Elementary School in the Bronx, her students trailing beside her. They look like a flock and its shepherd as she leads them into Class 403.

In the self-contained bridge class of 4th- and 5th-graders, Calderon and teacher Regina Shin help students compare decimals. Calderon’s teaching style is energetic and colorful in a room where kids are wild about learning. They bounce up and down in their seats before the readiness drill, but are easil…

Leslie Lehrman, a master teacher at Fordham Leadership Academy, works with stude

Shaping a school through a teacher’s voice

When English teacher Leslie Lehrman stepped into the role of master teacher in 2014, she did so out of a desire to take on a more formal leadership role in her school, Lehman HS in the Bronx.

MSK Direct gives UFT members access to a dedicated cancer specialists.

New UFT program offers special access to Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

MSK Direct, a new program offered by the UFT Welfare Fund, ensures access to a dedicated and compassionate team of cancer specialists at Memorial Sloan Kettering.

Latest News

Francisco Moya

UFT backs Moya in City Council race

The UFT has endorsed New York State Assemblyman Francisco Moya to in the Democratic Primary on Sept. 12 for the New York City Council’s 21st District in Corona and Elmhurst, Queens.

Another jump in city test scores

The number of students who tested as proficient on state math and English Language Arts exams in 2017 continued to rise across New York City, according to test scores released by state and city officials on Aug. 22.
Legislation - generic

Missouri unions stop anti-labor ‘right-to-work’ law

Missouri unions gathered well over 300,000 signatures to block the state’s anti-union right-to-work law, putting the measure up for public vote in 2018.

line art hand held in solitary

Nissan uses ‘scare tactics’ to foil unionizing attempt

Workers at the Nissan Motor Company’s plant in Canton, Mississippi, voted nearly 2 to 1 against union representation, following a hard-fought organizing drive marked by accusations that Nissan used illegal tactics to thwart the effort.

Puerto Rican teachers join the AFT

Teachers in Puerto Rico voted to join the American Federation of Teachers in August, bringing approximately 40,000 educators into the union.

Feature Stories

Modou Fall cleans the frame of a bicycle he’s reconditioning as part of the Earn

Gearing up for life

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They’re putting a new spin on learning at the Brooklyn hub of Pathways to Graduation.

Earn-A-Bike is an elective program in the city Department of Education that helps students ages 17 to 21 get high school equivalency diplomas. Students learn to take apart and recondition bicycles, then put them back together. They get to keep the completed bike.

“It gives them a chance to be an expert at something,” says math and literacy teacher Nicole Santiago.

At Pathways, “we teach everything and that’s great,” says Ariff Hajee, a science teacher. “But we also want to give the students something they can use, something hands-on.”

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Hajee, a cycling veteran, and Santiago, then a novice, started Earn-A-Bike in …

As a teenager, Colvin refused to give up her seat on a bus in Alabama in 1955, m

Face to face with history

Brooklyn 8th-graders learn about the civil rights movement through the story of a Bronx woman who left her mark on segregated Alabama when she was about their age.

Sixth-graders test out their theory of air pressure.

The wind at their backs

Big Apple Award-winning math teacher in the Bronx keeps her 6th-graders interested and engaged with lessons that revolve around math/science inquiry-based projects.

More in Feature Stories

Member Spotlight

What I Do
Robert Otero

What I Do: Robert Otero, audiologist

An educational audiologist serving District 75 and community schools in Brooklyn, Robert Otero ensures all students can hear their teachers loud and clear.

Around the UFT

Around the UFT
Jennifer Guga (left) of PS 203 in Brooklyn gets some help from UFT Vice Presiden

New Teacher Week

More than 1,400 new teachers kicked off the school year by attending New Teacher Week, which took place Aug. 21-25 at UFT borough offices in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx.

You Should Know

You Should Know
School safety 2 - generic

Theft-prevention tips

The NYPD School Safety Division has specific recommendations on how you can reduce the risk of theft of both personal items and school property.

Secure Your Future

Union membership provides security

Through your membership with the union, you remain among the few Americans who still have a defined-benefit pension.


Three women look at full binders and talk to each other in a crowded room.

Supporting our new teachers

It’s not easy being a new teacher. There’s so much to learn and navigate. That’s why the UFT has an array of programs to support new teachers as they begin this challenging and rewarding career.

President's Perspective

New year, new challenges

Welcome back. We're off to a good start, but there is no denying that we are living in turbulent times.

Students lunch in cafeteria

Universal free lunch

It’s a big win for our students: This year, virtually all New York City public schools will offer universal free lunch. The UFT helped to make it happen. UFT members and officers testified at hearings, lobbied Mayor Bill de Blasio and spread the word through social media, rallies and regular news conferences.


Double standard

The State University of New York proposal to allow charter schools it authorizes — including Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy schools — to devise their own teacher certification process would dramatically lower the entry bar for the profession. It also exposes a troubling double standard.

Teaching Resources

Linking to Learning

Technology standards for educators

This past June, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) unveiled new standards for educators that can serve as a roadmap to integrate technology in your classroom.

Research shows

A look at credit recovery results

New research in credit recovery fiinds that in-person instruction in algebra is more successful in the short term than online instruction for high school students.

Teacher to Teacher

Developing community through classroom circles

Classroom circles serve as a way to build relationships and resolve conflicts in classroom communities.

Building Your Career

Building Your Career

Power up and organize

Here is an organizational chart I use to give my students ownership of the space from the first day of school.
New Teacher Profiles
A student gets some one-on-one time with third-year teacher Leslie Martinez at H

She brings the world to her classroom

It’s all about “kids having access to experiences, whether I do it through being a teacher or being a program director at a museum or being a Girl Scout leader,” says Leslie Martinez, who is starting her third year as a teacher at Manhattan’s Humanities Prep Academy.

Retired Teachers News

RTC Chapter Leader Column

Constitutional convention could harm our pensions

The possibility of a New York State constitutional convention is a threat to our basic rights and benefits because it would allow delegates to tinker with any part of the document including our pension guarantees. The UFT Delegate Assembly has voted to urge a decisive NO vote on the proposal in the Nov. 7, 2017, election. UFT President Michael Mulgrew recently sent this flier to retirees so I am reinforcing his message by making that flier my first column for the new school year.
Money (generic)

Automatic COLA increase – September 2017

In 2000, after many frustrating years, the UFT, NYSUT and the rest of the state’s labor movement convinced New York State to provide an annual, permanent cost-of-living adjustment to our pensions.