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New York TeacherSeptember 6, 2018

Volume LX , Issue 1
New York Teacher Cover, Sept 6, 2018 - Welcome to the UFT

Cover Stories

Lecturer in classroom speaks about benefits in front of new members

UFT to new hires: We want you!

The UFT extended a welcoming hand to new hires in August as it launched an enrollment drive in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Janus v. AFSCME case.

The union organized a book giveaway for new teachers on Aug. 11, [see Starting off by the book] had a strong presence at DOE New Teacher Week in mid-August and held open houses at UFT headquarters and borough offices at the end of the month.

More than 1,000 new teachers crowded Shanker Hall at union headquarters on Aug. 20 at the kickoff to New Teacher Week, which is designed to provide new educators with the practical tips and support needed to hit the ground running on Day One.

The day began with encouragement and advice from officials representing…

Brianne Solomon teaches art and dance to junior high and high school students in

From the classroom to the campaign trail

After a spring awakening of walkouts and strikes, educators around the country are running for office in unprecedented numbers to have a say in the decisions that affect their lives and the lives of their students.

Teacher Leonela Garcia checks as a student team prepares a doctor’s prescription

RX for success

The intent young scientists in sterile lab coats, masks and gloves laboring at busy lab stations like professional researchers are actually 11th-graders at Union Square Academy for Health Sciences, the only high school in New York City with a pharmaceutical program.

Latest News

Kristin Camarinos can spend quality time with her son, Luke, thanks to paid pare

Paid parental leave a godsend for new parents

UFT members planning to have children were excited about the new paid parental leave policy and reassured about what it would mean for their families.

Proma Hassan, a teacher at MS 217 in Queens, stocks up on free books with her fa

Starting off by the book

Hundreds of new teachers will start their school year with up to 50 free books apiece for their classroom, courtesy of the UFT’s book giveaway on Aug. 11.

Judge blocks Trump’s anti-worker orders

In a victory for unions, a federal judge on Aug. 25 invalidated three executive orders from the Trump administration intended to make it easier to fire federal workers and weaken their union representation.

Betsy DeVos

Betsy DeVos rolls back another student protection

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced on Aug. 10 that the U.S. Department of Education will eliminate an Obama-era rule protecting students from for-profit post-secondary schools that load their students with debt without equipping them with the skills to find jobs where they can earn enough to pay it off.

Anti-labor email barrage targets union members

Teachers and other government workers in New York and neighboring states were deluged with deceptive emails about opting out of their unions immediately after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Janus ruling.

Feature Stories

Shantel French said Martin Luther King’s words “made me aware of how long these

The power of words

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“I start from the supposition that the world is topsy-turvy; that things are all wrong, that the wrong people are in jail and the wrong people are out of jail, that the wrong people are in power and the wrong people are out of power.”

Those words were written in November 1970 by the late historian Howard Zinn. They were spoken with conviction at Lincoln Center on May 17 of this year by Nikaury Roman at the culmination of the Voices of a People’s History project in her AP government class at Maxine Greene HS for Imaginative Inquiry in Manhattan.

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“Even though they are speaking somebody else’s words, it’s really their own voice, and there’s nothing more powerful. The kids really get to own it,” said Jeffrey Ellis-Lee, the teacher who shepherds students through the two-year undertaking.

The Brooklyn-born Zinn wrote more than 20 books, including the best-selling “A People’s History of the United States,” which chronicles America’s story from the perspective of minorities, the working poor, immigrants, rebels and dissenters, who waged grassroots battles for things like a fair wage, child-labor laws, women’s rights and…

Students from the Brooklyn Arbor School enjoy the hands-on activities at the Bro

Sailing through history

From their close encounter with a 22,500-pound anchor to nautical artifacts from the early 1800s to lessons about how ship technology has evolved, Brooklyn Arbor School students were fascinated by a class trip to the Brooklyn Navy Yard and its “Ingenius Innovations” exhibit.

Lawrence Mohr
Noteworthy Graduates

Noteworthy graduate: Lawrence Mohr, physician to two presidents

Lawrence Mohr is a doctor, an educator and a much-decorated Vietnam veteran, who served as the White House physician for two presidents. He is also a graduate of New York City public schools.

Member Spotlight

Chapter Leader Shoutout

Kudos to Patrick Bernal, Marble Hill HS for International Studies, the Bronx

Revitalizing the UFT chapter at Marble Hill HS for International Studies in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx, says Chapter Leader Patrick Bernal, has been an important learning process for everyone.

Your Rights and Benefits

Know Your Rights

Teacher ratings

Teachers covered by the DOE’s “Advance” system should have received their final rating for the 2017–18 school year by the start of the school year. Find out how the rating was calculated and what your options are if you received an Ineffective or Developing rating.

Your Well-being

Managing your time

It’s the beginning of a new school year and a perfect opportunity to organize for maximum effectiveness. Time is your greatest resource and, as a school professional, it is essential for achieving your goals. Check out these tips for making the most effective use of your time this year.

You Should Know

You Should Know

Parent-teacher conference date switch

Since the primary elections for political office in New York State are scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 13, the evening parent-teacher conferences for elementary schools for the 2018-19 school year have been moved to Monday, Sept. 17.


You Should Know

Teacher's Choice for 2018-19 school year

Following a strong lobbying effort by the UFT, the City Council maintained the previous year’s big increase in funding for Teacher’s Choice in the city budget. As a result, eligible UFT-represented educators will be reimbursed the same amounts as last school year for materials and supplies for the 2018–19 school year.

Q&A on the Issues

Paid Parental Leave Q&A

Thanks to the hard work of thousands of UFT members during a lengthy public campaign, the UFT is the first public-sector union in New York City to secure paid parental leave for the workers it represents. This new benefit is on top of the maternity leave benefits that birth mothers already had. This Q&A provides important nuts-and-bolts information for UFT-represented workers interested in taking a paid parental leave.

Secure Your Future

UFT members enjoy gold-standard pensions

The majority of UFT members participate in a defined-benefit pension, the gold standard of retirement plans. A defined-benefit pension guarantees a lifetime annuity — regular payments based on a formula. This formula takes into account your years of service, your salary and your age. With a defined-benefit pension, you don’t have to worry about the vagaries of the stock market. The amount of the pension benefit remains the same each month throughout your retirement.

Your Well-being

Managing your time

It’s the beginning of a new school year and a perfect opportunity to organize for maximum effectiveness. Time is your greatest resource and, as a school professional, it is essential for achieving your goals. Check out these tips for making the most effective use of your time this year.

Opinions

VPerspective

Rolling out the welcome mat

As in all the Septembers before, thousands of new educators have accepted the challenge to make a difference in the lives of New York City’s public school children.

President's Perspective

The state of the union

We have a lot of work ahead of us to ensure the UFT remains a formidable force, but we have reason to be optimistic. 

Editorials

Ill wind in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico’s governor is using the damage inflicted by Hurricane Maria as justification to push school privatization. Eleven months after the hurricane, the first charter school opened on the island this August.

Editorials

A new Discovery

New York City has long grappled with the de facto segregation in its schools, especially its eight sought-after specialized high schools, whose students are predominantly white or Asian.

Teaching Resources

Linking to Learning

Finding primary sources online

When locating materials to use in the classroom, high-quality resources are a must. Many well-known and respected organizations have fully digitized their collections of primary sources and made them available free of charge, so they’re a great place to start.

Teacher to Teacher

Managing your classroom

As we think about gearing up for a new school year, here are a few tips to help us navigate the busy, sometimes overwhelming job of managing a classroom.

Building Your Career

Building Your Career

Inspired by 'I Have a Dream'

Inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, my classroom door is decorated with my students' dreams of what and who they want to be someday.

New Teacher Articles

Prepare to succeed this school year

As the school year begins, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared to care for yourself as much as you care for your new students.


Retired Teachers News

Automatic COLA Increase— September 2018

In 2000, after 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.

Retirees hlding signs, "Hands off our social security"

Janus decision and retired members

Does the recent Supreme Court decision in the Janus case affect retirees? No and yes.