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New York TeacherOctober 5, 2017

Volume LIX, Number 2

Cover Story

Bronx speech teacher Brooke Shmuel was helped by the UFT Certification Departmen

UFT helps nearly 7,000 avoid termination

Brooke Shmuel thought she was doing everything by the book when she submitted her credentials for certification to the state Office of Teaching Initiatives. “I was working on it for two years, collecting information,” said Shmuel, a speech teacher at PS 68 in the Eastchester section of the Bronx. “I had submitted everything more than once, because they lost my information multiple times even though it was sent certified mail.”

She began to worry when she did not get a response from the state — and was on the brink of being terminated because of her lack of certification.

That’s when Shmuel turned to the UFT Certification Department — and discovered that the state evaluator couldn’t read Shmuel’s handwriting on a document proving she was engaged in continuing competency training. Nanette Rosario-Sanchez, the UFT special representative for certification, had no trouble reading the document,…

Latest News

Three units vote to join UFT

The UFT scored three more organizing victories in the health care and nonprofit education sectors this summer.

Family fights for UFT-represented staff at preschool

Parents, shocked by high turnover and minimal wages at their daughter’s Brooklyn preschool went to bat for the beleaguered workers. Now, the UFT is trying to negotiate a first contract.

Teachers let their feelings be known at an impromptu protest on Sept. 5 outside

DACA end clouds DREAMer future

Fear and uncertainty have gripped immigrant students and UFT members registered with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program ever since U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced in September the termination of DACA on March 5.

A sign welcomes students back to school at PS 88 in Ridgewood.

Looking classy!

As the 2017 school year got under way on Sept. 7, schoolyards and hallways were filled with tears and cheers, questions and answers, hopes and dreams.

Retirees ride in an open-top bus.

Labor stands tall

As threats to workers’ rights multiply at the state and federal level, about 600 UFT members marched in the annual Labor Day Parade on Sept. 10 to show their support for the labor movement.

Feature Stories

Larissa Loua, 2nd-grade ICT teacher

Three educators, one opening day

Meet the educators Allison Brown, community school director Community Learning Schools

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Allison Brown’s job is to help coordinate the school’s access to resources and partnerships that address our students’ needs. She got the ball rolling on opening day.

Read more Steve Burrell, school counselor and chapter leader PROSE

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For school counselor Steve Burrell, the first day was all about program changes and updating programs. Trying to balance the focus on academics, Bedford Academy HS staff will use the PROSE program to make school more fun by creating clubs and activities.

Read more Larissa Loua, 2nd-grade ICT teacher Positive Learning Collaborative

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Larissa Loua, 2nd-grade ICT teacher

Larissa Loua, 2nd-grade ICT teacher

It was Larissa Loua’s first year in an integrated co-teaching classroom. On opening day, she led a restorative circle to help her students build community and learn how to trust each other — key elements of a Positive Learning Collaborative school.

Allison Brown, community school director

Allison Brown, community school director

Allison Brown’s job is to help coordinate the school’s access to resources and partnerships that address our students’ needs. She got the ball rolling on opening day.

Member Spotlight

Chapter Leader Shoutout
Andrea Frederick-Marsh, PS 140, the Bronx

Kudos to Andrea Frederick-Marsh, PS 140, the Bronx

PS 140 Chapter Leader Andrea Frederick-Marsh’s creation of the first consultation committee at her school in the Longwood section of the Bronx has quickly paid off in a stronger, better-informed chapter that is able to head off problems before they mushroom into grievances.

Around the UFT

Around the UFT
A vibrant UFT contingent gets into the spirit of the day.

West Indian Day Parade

UFT members joined the colorful march through Crown Heights, Brooklyn, on Sept. 4 as an estimated 2 million spectators turned out for the 50th annual West Indian Day Parade to celebrate Caribbean culture.

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. 

You Should Know
Students lunch in cafeteria

Paras cannot be required to supervise lunchrooms

Paraprofessionals, including one-on-one paras, are entitled to a duty-free lunch period.

You Should Know

UFT Welcome Center opens at 52 Broadway

When UFT members arrive at union headquarters, the union wants them to feel welcome and wants them to receive top-notch service from their first interaction with the UFT. That’s why the UFT opened a Welcome Center in the lobby of 52 Broadway on Sept. 5.

You Should Know
UFT homework helpline experts are ready to take students’ calls between 4 and 7

Phone lines open for Dial-A-Teacher

The staff at Dial-A-Teacher, the UFT’s long-running homework help line, bring help and encouragement to students and parents struggling with homework assignments from 4 to 7 p.m. every Monday to Thursday when school is in session.

Secure Your Future

Don’t fall for the lies

On the proposal on the constitutional convention on the Nov. 7 ballot, we’re asking you to vote NO.



On the front line of patient care

Advocating on behalf of its members, Federation of Nurses/UFT has been able to modify the patient-care surveys to reflect real work situations.

President's Perspective
Vote No on Constitutional Convention

Why your NO vote on Nov. 7 matters

A proposal rife with consequences for UFT members and their families is on the ballot on Nov. 7: whether or not to hold a constitutional convention in the state of New York. You must vote NO and tell your friends, family members and colleagues to do the same. 

Teachers let their feelings be known at an impromptu protest on Sept. 5 outside

United for DREAMers

These are anxious times for young people enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that gave 800,000 immigrant youths temporary resident status and protection from deportation.
Bronx speech teacher Brooke Shmuel was helped by the UFT Certification Departmen

Certified victories

When most people think about the job security that comes with union membership, the first thing that comes to mind is protection of due process rights — making sure teachers get a fair hearing if they are threatened with losing their job for any reason.

Teaching Resources

Learning Curve
Noah Garcia, a 6th-grade ELA teacher in a Nest classroom at MS 447 in downtown B

When Nest is best

The ASD Nest model is designed to “nest” children with autism in fully inclusive classrooms.

Research shows
Money (generic)

Charters spend less on teachers

A national analysis of school staff expenditures finds that charter schools spend less on average per pupil on instructional salaries compared to public schools, and for-profit charters spend less than nonprofits.

Teacher to Teacher
Teacher Sandy Fajgier watches as her pre-K students use VHS tapes — circa 1980 —

Strengthening PD at your school

Here are some ideas for strengthening the professional learning community at your school.

Building Your Career

Building Your Career

An observation center filled with treasures

Our observation center is filled with treasures from around the world.
New Teacher Articles
Jennifer Guga (left) of PS 203 in Brooklyn gets some help from UFT Vice Presiden

The UFT is here to provide wide-ranging support

The UFT is here to protect the rights of new teachers and support them in their new careers. Whether you have a specific issue you need help resolving or you’re seeking broader support, the UFT is here to help.

Retired Teachers News