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New York TeacherNovember 7, 2019

Volume LXI, Number 2

Latest News

Jumaane Williams

UFT endorses Williams for public advocate

The UFT has endorsed incumbent Jumaane Williams for New York City public advocate in the Nov. 5 general election. The decision passed the union’s executive board on Oct. 21.

Generic grievance word cloud

UFT wins Regents scoring grievance

An independent arbitrator has ruled in a precedent-setting decision that the Department of Education improperly denied retention rights to a teacher for Regents scoring in June on the grounds that she had not participated in scoring Regents the previous January.

Save our climate - 3

Save our climate

New York City public school students were among millions who took to the streets in more than 150 countries on Sept. 20 for a climate strike, led by young people leaving their classrooms to demand action on the climate crisis that threatens their futures.

Line art image of clock

School to start later in California

California will become the first state in the United States to push back school start times to improve educational outcomes under a new law enacted on Oct. 13.

Making Strides March - Jenise Jackson

Making Strides — with a little help from friends

Florence Conlon wore a UFT Strides T-shirt over her pink sweater, and a pink bandanna was wrapped around her neck — wise choices for a chilly overcast day at Orchard Beach in the Bronx. But the most important accessory Conlon wore was the sash with one word printed on it: "Survivor."

Feature Stories

First Strike 1960
Today's history lesson

Nov. 7, 1960: Teachers strike

The newly formed United Federation of Teachers was demanding collective bargaining rights and Superintendent of Schools John Theobald’s response was that he did not bargain with his own family.

Thus, the decision was made to go on strike on Nov. 7, 1960. The risks for the UFT were high — it was a tiny union that represented just a fraction of the city’s teachers. Most school employees crossed the picket lines. At best, 5,600 teachers, school secretaries, school counselors and social workers struck; another 2,000 called in sick. David Dubinsky, the president of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, mediated a deal with Mayor Robert Wagner, and the UFT ended the strike after one day.

Celebrating  ‘an equitable education for all’

Celebrating ‘an equitable education for all’

UFT members were among the thousands of educators, parents and students who turned out on Oct. 13 for a day of celebration of public schools organized by United Way of New York City.

Teacher Ivis Carrasco (right) from PS 194 in Brooklyn turns the capstan

Sailing back in time

Fifth-graders from PS 194 in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, repeated the cries that once echoed around the busy port of New York as they raised the sail on an 1885 cargo ship during a class trip to Manhattan’s South Street Seaport Museum on Oct. 7.

Member Spotlight

Tanya Pragados
Chapter Leader Shoutout

Kudos to Tanya Pragados, PS 175, Harlem

PS 175 Chapter Leader Tanya Pragados stood her ground against her principal when she tried to unilaterally departmentalize two 3rd-grade classes without the contractually required school-based option vote.

Leandra Bates
What I Do

What I do: Leandra Bates, administrative education analyst

Leandra Bates, an administrative education analyst in the Department of Education’s central Bronx office, serves as the human resources director for 34 elementary schools in the Bronx. 

Around the UFT

Homework help available through Dial-A-Teacher

Homework help available through Dial-A-Teacher

Do your students need help with their homework? If so, you can point them to the UFT’s award-winning Dial-A-Teacher homework help line.

UFT to form district political teams

UFT to form district political teams

UFT President Michael Mulgrew announced at the first Delegate Assembly of the school year on Oct. 16 that the union would like every school district to have a political action team in place to keep friends of public education in office and get adequate funding for schools.

Middle School Anti-Bullying Conference

Middle School Anti-Bullying Conference

The UFT hosted more than 300 students from 25 middle schools at its Manhattan headquarters on Oct. 22 for the UFT Middle School Division’s third annual Anti-Bullying Conference. Students and teachers attended workshops presented by the New York Police Department, Operation Respect, STOMP Out Bullying and the UFT BRAVE program.

The 'privilege' of diversity - 2

The ‘privilege’ of diversity in NYC schools

A special buzz of energy marked the fourth annual UFT Conference on Effective Instruction for English Language Learners — ExcELLing — at union headquarters in Manhattan on Oct. 19. 

Labor Parade

'Pride and strength'

More than 1,000 UFT members marched up Fifth Avenue at the city's Labor Day Parade on Sept. 7.

Your Rights and Benefits

Know Your Benefits
Woman holds up a sign, Vocabulary UNO

UFT professional learning opportunities

The UFT offers high-quality courses and workshops designed and delivered by teachers and other educators through the UFT Teacher Center and LearnUFT and at its citywide conferences and summer institutes. 

Know Your Rights

New operational issues process

Whether it’s excessive paperwork, lack of basic instructional supplies or inadequate space, when issues arise that impede our work with students and need addressing, a timely resolution is of the essence.

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
A+ Courses - Erica Diaz and Christina Morris

A+ courses can earn you more money

Teachers can now earn their MA+30 salary differential by taking new A+ courses designed specifically to support what teachers do every day in their classrooms. The courses are accessible and affordable.

Secure Your Future
Save for a sound retirement

Save for a sound retirement

Retirement can seem a long way off when you’re in your 20s, 30s or even 40s. But the decisions you make when you’re young can help ensure you have a secure retirement.


Evelyn DeJesus

Owning the evaluation process

Teacher evaluation has long been a contentious issue, but changes negotiated in the 2018 DOE-UFT contract provide an opportunity to make the observation process the partnership it was meant to be.

President's Perspective
UFT President Michael Mulgrew

At last, a successful strategy for class size

We’ve seen a dramatic drop in the number of oversize classes early in the school year — thanks to class-size reduction provisions negotiated as part of the 2018 Department of Education-UFT contract that were designed to get faster relief for teachers and students. 


Imagine that

Imagine Schools NYC starts where it should — in the community. Educators, parents, students and the surrounding community will craft proposals about the kind of new schools they want to see built in their neighborhoods. 

Silhouette of people with the American Flag as a backdrop

Hear them out

The UFT invited former vice president and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden to speak at Teacher Union Day on Oct. 20. In May, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who has who has since dropped out of the race, addressed the UFT Spring Education Conference.

Teaching Resources

Teacher to Teacher
Man and woman in photo

Importance of getting to know your students

When I began my career as a high school social studies teacher four years ago, I knew I wanted my classroom management to be dramatically different from the “reward and punishment” style. 

Learning Curve
Creating classroom

Creating classroom ‘Harmony’

In June 2019, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza announced a major expansion of programs to address social-emotional learning across New York City public schools, which will provide every school with access to a social-emotional curriculum.

Linking to Learning
Comic strip

Digital storytelling has many methods, uses

Digital storytelling is a way of using technology resources to write and design a narrative and then share those stories with others.

Building Your Career

New Teacher Articles
Woman pointing up at words that say, Explain your expectations, use your contractual time, take advantage of technology

Keep the home-school bond alive all year

Now that the school year is well underway, take some time to think about the ways you’ll keep your students’ families informed and engaged throughout the year.

Inside My Classroom
Bulletin board that says "180 days of school = 180 opportunities to..."

180 days of opportunities

I use my bulletin board as a way to reiterate that our students have the amazing power to grow as students and, more important, as kind people.

New Teacher Profiles
Teacher and group of students standing in classroom

Creating a culture of respect

Anthony Chin Kee Hee, a third-year high school English teacher at the Bronx Latin School, has learned how to become an effective educator by building relationships with his students.

Retired Teachers News

Elderly man and woman sitting next to each other smiling while woman speaks on the phone
RTC Service

Hospital Stay in Touch program provides ‘angels’ for members

More than 100 retirees who were hospitalized last year received a daily, reassuring phone call from a geriatric social worker as part of the extensive support system the union’s Retiree Social Services provides for UFT retirees across the country and their family members.

Through the Hospital Stay in Touch program, a social worker acts as an advocate on behalf of the hospitalized patient, making sure the patient’s needs are being met day by day. That advocacy continues through rehabilitation and lasts until a few days after the patient returns home safely to ensure the patient is doing well and any needed services are in place. The program also can facilitate home care after a return from the hospital.

Women and men sitting at a table with a red checkered tablecloth
RTC Section Spotlight

Atlanta fits some retirees to a ‘Tea’

Atlanta retirees have their calendars marked for this year’s annual meeting scheduled for Nov. 14 at Merry Mac’s Tea Room.

Tom Murphy
RTC Chapter Leader Column

Make your voice heard

Some of us feel surrounded by angry, self-proclaimed, in-your-face assertions of populous democratic rights, but too often with nary a drop to acknowledge and nurture the great tradition of enlightened democratic achievement that organized labor and its progressive political allies fought to enshrine in our social contract over the last century.

The albatross? You decide.

More in Retired Teachers Chapter News