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New York TeacherMay 2, 2019

Volume LX, Number 9

Cover Stories

Hands and feet and a bear walk, oh my!

Learning in leaps and bounds

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Head down and eyes on the floor, the 3rd-grader wouldn’t say why he likes the Sensory Path at PS 9 on Staten Island. Even gentle prompting by a classmate didn’t draw a response.

But as he planted his feet firmly at the start of the pathway and was about to begin hopping and skipping and leapfrogging, his eyes gleamed with confidence. “I got this!” he said.

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“We’ve definitely seen an increase in attending and focusing because of the Sensory Path,” said speech therapist Gina-Marie Principe.

The transformation of a section of the first-floor hallway at the Concord school took place in December: Think giant, colorful stickers and prompts placed on t…

Jeanine Cammarata

Murdered teacher known for patience and dedication to students

Staten Island pre-K teacher Jeanine Cammarata, who was found murdered in April, was patient and sensitive, and she always put her students first, said colleagues.


Members raising hand while holding ballots

Unity urged as anti-union forces contact members

UFT President Michael Mulgrew warned the Delegate Assembly on April 17 that anti-union forces looking to take advantage of the 2018 Supreme Court decision in the Janus case have begun their efforts to weaken New York City public school teachers’ collective power.


Latest News

Legislation - generic

Tennessee looks to override local charter caps

Tennessee is on track to create a new state commission that could override local governments’ attempts to limit charter school expansion. Legislation to establish the commission passed both houses of the state Legislature, and Tennessee’s Republican governor, Bill Lee, is expected to sign it.

Person filling out a bubble test

Test scores out in eval

The UFT achieved its long-sought goal of eliminating the requirement that student test scores be a factor in the Annual Professional Performance Review process in the state budget approved by the state Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo on March 31.



Boys and Girls HS celebrates a turning point

Boys and Girls HS has turned the corner. The once-troubled Brooklyn school has been taken out of state receivership – a designation for long struggling schools – and out of the city Board of Education’s Renewal Schools program, and it marked the milestone with a celebration in the school gym.


Feature Stories

Emmy Jo Favilla
Noteworthy Graduates

Noteworthy Graduate: Emmy Jo Favilla, BuzzFeed editor

[[nid:111758; float: right; styleName:article_x_medium_auto]]Emmy Jo Favilla started reading at 3½ years old. “I asked my mom to confirm,” says BuzzFeed’s senior manager for brand voice and its style guru. Favilla grew up loving books, reading and writing. The day she got her first library card, she checked out the maximum 30 volumes. “Why wouldn’t anyone take out 30 books if they could?” she asks. As a child, Favilla would “hole up” in her room and read for hours. “I know this is cliché, but it’s what it was to me … being able to escape and be in another world.” Her teachers at public schools in Brooklyn and Queens nurtured that love of reading and instilled in her the confidence that has propelled her in the internet media world. Favilla didn’t realize copy editing was a viable career until she was an intern during college. Her first post-college job was copy editing at Seventeen magazine. “There’s something very satisfying about finding errors beyond just typos, and I love the idea that you’re helping this piece of writing reach its potential.” Favilla was BuzzFeed’s first copy editor in 2012, then became its global copy chief, supervising staff in New York, Los Angeles and the United Kingdom. She created its style guide — a precursor to her 2017 book, “A World Without ‘Whom’: The Es…

‘Lion King’ across the curriculum

If the Gallery Walk in March at K396 in Brownsville, Brooklyn, evoked thoughts of “The Lion King,” that was no accident. The hallways were transformed into a gallery of animal habitats on the African savannah after the school was one of five — and the only District 75 school — to win a grant from the Disney Musicals in Schools program.

Emmy Jo Favilla
Noteworthy Graduates

Noteworthy Graduate: Emmy Jo Favilla, BuzzFeed editor

Emmy Jo Favilla started reading at 3½ years old. “I asked my mom to confirm,” says BuzzFeed’s senior manager for brand voice and its style guru. Favilla grew up loving books, reading and writing.

Member Spotlight

Chapter Leader Shoutout
Melissa Alvarez

Kudos to Melissa Alvarez, John Bowne HS in Flushing, Queens

Melissa Alvarez, the chapter leader at John Bowne HS in Flushing, Queens, used the new dispute resolution process in the DOE-UFT contract to get a speedy response to a safety violation: no teacher assigned to the high school’s SAVE room.

Around the UFT

Displaying winning smiles are (from left): Excellence in Education Award winner

Highlighting the power of teamwork

The power of team work was on display at the annual Academic High Schools Awards Celebration on April 12 at UFT headquarters in Manhattan, where outstanding city educators, public high schools and union activists were honored.


Chamaine Smith (second from left), a paraprofessional at PS 70 in the Bronx, and

Tech4All information session and job fair

Tech4All, an all-day information session and technology job fair, drew 500 participants and 25 employers to the UFT's Bronx borough office on April 3.

Shauna Innis (fourth from right) of PS 66, the district’s Outstanding Paraprofes

District 12 Scholarship Committee breakfast

The turnout “exploded” — reaching 330 — at District 12’s April 13 Scholarship Committee breakfast at which 24 students were awarded new laptops.

Ashika Hassan, an ESL teacher at MS 210 in Queens, takes the Lesson Planning Wit

Shakespeare makes an appearance

Some 250 educators turned out for the UFT’s sixth annual Middle School Conference at union headquarters on March 30. The theme was William Shakespeare.

Parent Hashim Muhamad Graham (standing) of Medgar Evers College Prep in Brooklyn

School Leadership Team meeting at UFT Brooklyn borough office

The School Leadership Team at PS 1 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, held its April 8 meeting at the UFT’s Brooklyn borough office and turned it into a learning experience for parents and educators.

You Should Know

You Should Know
Sneakers with arrows

NYSUT Member Benefits-endorsed programs

Are you planning to retire soon from active employment? If so, you’ll need to maintain your UFT membership as a retiree to continue participating in NYSUT Member Benefits-endorsed programs and services.

Secure Your Future
TRS resources and information

TRS goes paperless

In the fall of 2018, the Teachers’ Retirement System announced an operational change that will save money and be good for the environment: TRS stopped mailing paper Quarterly Account Statements to retirement system members it can reach via email.

Opinions

President's Perspective
Michael Mulgrew listing image Headshot

The charter school fight

At long last, the New York State Legislature that is more inclined to support pro-teacher, pro-public school policies. There was no lifting of the charter cap included in this year’s budget. But the charter school industry has regrouped. This fight is not over.

VPerspective
Union Proud logo

Anti-unionists threaten all of us

Today, like never before, our collective bargaining rights, benefits and protections are under fire. Our enemies will spread rumors and misinformation designed to undermine working people. They will pretend to be our friends when their goal is to hurt us. If we fall prey to their lies, we risk losing everything. 

Editorials
Patient in hospital

Protection for patients

It’s easily among most people’s greatest fears: Having a medical emergency when you’re far from home, whether it’s an accident or a serious illness.

Editorials
Fed-up teachers formed Arizona Educators United and began protesting under the #

Appreciating teachers

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 6–10, as good a time as any to take stock of how teachers are viewed by the public at large.

Teaching Resources

Linking to Learning
Duolingo courses use a gaming structure with the threat of losing “lives” with m

Online sites for language learning

As technology has developed, so have methods for using technology to learn a language. These programs aren’t meant as a replacement for in-class language instruction, but they can be effective supports to extend and continue learning both in and out of the classroom.

Teacher to Teacher
The eight types of thinking maps are (clockwise from top left): circle maps, bub

The power of thinking maps

In my 3rd-grade classroom, my students use thinking maps — which are not graphic organizers! — to represent their ideas. Each type of thinking map connects a basic cognitive skill with a visual representation.


Building Your Career

Building Your Career

Amazon Alexa plays an important role in my class routine

Each student in my 3rd-grade class takes a turn as ‘Alexa’s friend of the day.’

New Teacher Articles

Is your teaching certificate about to expire?

With summer just around the corner, it’s crucial to meet upcoming deadlines for certification if your current teaching certificate is near its expiration date. 


Retired Teachers News

Tom Murphy
RTC Chapter Leader Column

Understanding senior voter tendencies

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) recently asked me to fill its held position on the Senior Council of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Since the Council’s purpose is to offer advice on strategic issues and policies important to retirees’ economic security and general livelihood, I gladly agreed.

Medicare Part B / IRMAA

Most of our retired members on Medicare should have received their 2018 Medicare Reimbursement by May 1, 2019. The 2018 Medicare Part B Reimbursement will be electronically deposited into the same account as the pension payment.