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New York TeacherMarch 6, 2014

Volume LV , Issue 8

Cover Stories

Michael Mulgrew Promo Image Headshot 07-19
President's Perspective

Teacher exodus must be stopped

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As we negotiate a new contract with the Department of Education, the question is not whether the city can afford to give raises, but whether it can afford not to. And the answer is simple — it can’t.

If New York is serious about rebuilding a first-class school system, then the DOE must sign a fair contract that takes into consideration the years during which we worked without an agreement, that will allow us to recruit and retain the talented educators that our students need, and that recognizes and respects the hard work we do.

We give it our all every day in our classrooms and schools to see that our students succeed.

A math teacher works through lunch to help a student struggling to grasp a new concept. A social studies…

O’Regan and Tannous, both UFT member nurses at Lutheran Medical Center, were sel

Welcome mission

Two Federation of Nurses/UFT members who work at Brooklyn’s Lutheran Medical Center were among those who responded to the appeal for medical volunteers to help in the relief effort. The two young nurses used their vacation time for the two-week mission, where they treated the sick and injured at makeshift health clinics.

The elements of quality pre-K

Good pre-K teachers are like magicians to the rest of us, not just keeping kids safe, but teaching them how to feel safe. Not just showing them how the world works but giving them a role in creating it.

Latest News

World needs well-trained teachers

At least 250 million of the world’s 650 million primary school–age children can’t read, write or do basic mathematics, according to a report released by the United Nations on Jan. 29.

Portland teachers strike averted

Narrowly avoiding a teachers strike in Oregon’s largest school district, Portland school officials and the Portland Association of Teachers on Feb. 18 signed a tentative contract agreement that will see the district hire 150 new teachers in an effort to reduce class sizes and teacher workloads.

Political interference in union drive

Around 1,600 Volkswagen workers in Chattanooga, Tenn., voted Feb. 14 against joining the United Auto Workers, delivering the union a stinging defeat in what was arguably its most important organizing drive in years.

Frosted Flakes not so grrreat

Kellogg’s is the maker of Frosted Flakes with its well-known advertising slogan, “They’re grrrreat!” The company has long been considered a fair employer where blue-collar workers could earn a middle-class living.

De Blasio vetoes 9 of 49 pending co-locations

In a long-awaited decision, the de Blasio administration on Feb. 27 nixed nine of the 49 co-locations hurriedly approved in the waning days of the Bloomberg era.

Feature Stories

Abraham Lincoln HS bowling coach Gail Cohen, 6th-grader Adam Seidman and Lincoln

The proteges

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Amid the cacophony of clattering pins at the Shell Lanes bowling center in Gravesend, Brooklyn, it’s not easy to stay focused. But the teenage boy is resolute: Gently but confidently, he grasps the younger boy’s shoulders and guides him to the lane’s foul line.

“Slow down,” he says in a low voice. The younger boy nods, then winds up and lets the bowling ball fly.

They are an unlikely pair. Mike Khalifeh, a high school senior, is tall and self-assured, his expression deadpan as he casually lobs the ball down the lane. Adam, a 6th-grader, is animated and expressive, pumping his fist or grimacing exaggeratedly after each throw.

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Adam, who has Down syndrome, wears hearing…

Literacy coach Ali Giordano with 1st-grader Jason (yellow shirt) surrounded by m

Read all about it!

Nestled close to his 5th-grade mentor Timothy, 1st-grader Noah concentrates hard as he sounds out the words in his book, “Blackbird’s Nest.” The pair is part of PS/IS 206's Reading Mentors program, created by literacy coach Ali Giordano.

Literacy teacher Noelle O’Reilly helps three 4-year-olds set the table for dinne

Lessons to build on

In Helen Chan’s full-day prekindergarten classroom at the Children’s Workshop School in the East Village, as in any high-quality pre-K program, learning and play are deeply intertwined. Through a curriculum that combines early academic skills with social, emotional and physical learning activities, pre-K helps children build the knowledge they’ll need for kindergarten.

Member Spotlight

What I Do

What I Do: Peri Lyman, teacher in nonpublic schools

Peri Lyman, a member of the non-public schools chapter, has worked as a reading teacher for the Department of Education in non-public schools for 22 years. She currently serves two Catholic schools in Queens.

Around the UFT

Social Workers and Psychologists Chapter’s Clinical Professional Development program

Some 450 members of the Social Workers and Psychologists Chapter met at union headquarters on Jan. 27 for their eighth annual Clinical Professional Development program.

Career and Technical Education Summit

Some 400 local and regional educators gathered with business, higher-education and union leaders at a Career and Technical Education Summit at UFT headquarters on Feb. 3, exploring ways for schools to build high-quality CTE programs to meet the needs of the city’s future labor force.

Fundraising never stops at Queens school

When the teachers, staff and parents of PS 69 in Jackson Heights learned about the typhoon in the Philippines in November, they sprung into action. The total donated to the UFT Disaster Relief Fund: $4,742.

Greater Metropolitan New York Social Studies Conference

Folksinger Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary fame was awarded the Hubert H. Humphrey Humanitarian Award during the 54th annual Greater Metropolitan New York Social Studies Conference luncheon at UFT headquarters in Manhattan on Feb. 1.

Anti-bullying event at PS 24, Brooklyn

After the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey 4-foot-10-inch acrobat tossed the 6-foot-5-inch circus ringmaster over his shoulder and spun him around on the auditorium stage of PS 24 in Sunset Park, students learned an anti-bullying lesson like none they had ever heard before.

You Should Know

You Should Know

Conference for educators of students with disabilities

Educators who work with students with disabilities are invited to attend Everyone Reading’s Annual Conference, which focuses on building success for students with dyslexia and learning disabilities.

Secure Your Future

How investments fared in 2013

Investment results for 2013 were mixed. Returns for U.S stocks were excellent, international returns were not as high and bond returns were dismal. Includes a tribute to Joe Shannon, a former Teachers' Retirement Board member who passed away in January 2014.

Opinions

VPerspective

Teaching students to become learners

Teachers instinctively know that helping students develop noncognitive skills — such as self-confidence, perseverance, grit and persistence — contributes to their academic success. New research confirms the vital importance of these skills. 


Opinion

Run! Jump! Learn!

We know that physical education can help to combat childhood obesity, improve students’ health and build good exercise habits. But research is now making it clear that gym class can also boost children’s academic achievement.
Opinion

Unprepared and knowing it

Would you want a doctor who had completed one year of medical school instead of four? A lawyer who had finished only one semester of law school?

Editorial Cartoons

Teaching Resources

Research shows

Aerobic fitness linked to higher test scores

Two new studies indicate that physical education can help to boost academic achievement. Aerobically fit students in two states were more than twice as likely to pass math and reading tests than students who were not aerobically fit.

Teacher to Teacher

When students pose the questions

Teachers are always looking for compelling ways to spark students’ interest and engage them in meaningful discussions. One strategy that works is small-group Socratic symposiums on questions developed by students.

Building Your Career

Building Your Career

Science supplies center

This is a view of the supplies center in my science classroom.

New Teacher Profiles

‘Researcher and teacher’ helps students learn, grow

What’s a new teacher to do when an existing curriculum doesn’t tell the whole story? Fayette Colon, an ambitious social studies teacher at Harvest Collegiate HS in Manhattan, had a solution: She created her own.

Retired Teachers News

Reporting TRS distributions on your local income tax

If you received one or more of the distributions listed below during 2013, you are required to report the total gross amount of the distribution on line 16a and the taxable amount of the distribution on line 16b on your 2013 federal income tax form 1040.

The gross amount of distributions can be found in box 1 and the taxable amount of deductions can be found in box 2a of your 1099-R, which was mailed to you in January 2014.

The following are taxable distributions: <ul> <li>Withdrawal of taxable excess contributions while in active service or withdrawal of taxable excess retirement.</li> <li>Taxable loan amount at retirement.</li> <li>Defaulted loan. </li> <li>The taxable portion of your retirement…

Literacy coach Ali Giordano with 1st-grader Jason (yellow shirt) surrounded by m

Read all about it!

Nestled close to his 5th-grade mentor Timothy, 1st-grader Noah concentrates hard as he sounds out the words in his book, “Blackbird’s Nest.” The pair is part of PS/IS 206's Reading Mentors program, created by literacy coach Ali Giordano.

Literacy teacher Noelle O’Reilly helps three 4-year-olds set the table for dinne

Lessons to build on

In Helen Chan’s full-day prekindergarten classroom at the Children’s Workshop School in the East Village, as in any high-quality pre-K program, learning and play are deeply intertwined. Through a curriculum that combines early academic skills with social, emotional and physical learning activities, pre-K helps children build the knowledge they’ll need for kindergarten.