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New York TeacherNovember 7, 2019

Volume LXI , Issue 2

Latest News

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."

Men holding strike signs

Auto workers reach deal to end strike

The United Auto Workers' five-week strike against General Motors reached its endgame on Oct. 16 as the union came to a tentative agreement with the company. 

Feature Stories

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.

“I’m here because public schools are the only way forward for an equitable education for all,” said Raphael Tomkin, a special education teacher and chapter leader at PS 333 in Manhattan.

A Teachers Recognition Breakfast hosted by United Way and the UFT was followed by United Way’s March United for Public Schools, a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to demonstrate the importance of public education.

After the march, participants gathered at Brooklyn Borough Hall for the children’s “Future Festival,” which included student musicians and dancers, Big Apple Circus performers, a bubble garden, face-painting, a reading tent and more.

“Each day at school, I look forward to a young student going from ‘I can’t. Help me,’ to ‘Look at me! I did it,’” said Teresa Bello, a pre-K special education teacher at PS 185 in Manhattan who was among the public school educators honored at the breakfast organized by UFT Vice President for Elementary Schools Karen Alford.

First Strike 1960
Today's history lesson

What happened on Nov. 7, 1960?

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.

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

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.

Union rememebers a legend

Union remembers a legend

UFT members came together on Sept. 25 to celebrate the life of Abe Levine, a UFT executive board member for nearly 59 years.

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.

Your Rights and Benefits

Know Your Benefits

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

You Should Know

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.

Q&A on the Issues

Integrated Co-Teaching classes

Integrated Co-Teaching classes provide students with disabilities with access to the general education curriculum as well as to specially designed instruction to meet their individual needs. But for the ICT model to work, checks and balances must be in place to ensure that students get the instructional support they need. Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about ICT classes.

Secure Your Future

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.

Your Well-being

Dealing with difficult people

We all encounter difficult people in our lives. Whether it’s a family member, a co-worker or a supervisor, difficult people can turn a good day into a bad one if you don’t have strategies for dealing with the challenge.

Opinions

VPerspective

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

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. 

Comments

More librarians

My compliments to Christina Gavin, the Herbert H. Lehman HS Campus librarian featured in the Sept. 5 “What I Do” column.

Comments

Discipline before restoration

In 2018, 10 percent of public-school teachers were threatened with injury by a student and 6 percent nationwide were physically attacked by a student. 

Comments

Misguided integration effort

There is something commendable about the mayor and the school chancellor’s efforts to integrate New York City schools. However, their emphasis on the end goal of integration as opposed to the means of achieving such an end result is misguided.

Comments

Colleague left a legacy

Roy Ehrlick, a former colleague at IS 143 in Manhattan who passed away earlier this fall, was the most selfless person I have ever known. He was a teacher 24 hours a day and available to students 365 days a year.

Editorials

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. 

Teaching Resources

Learning Curve

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

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.

Teacher to Teacher

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. 

Building Your Career

New Teachers

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.

New Teachers

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 Teachers

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

Teaching - generic

Are you interested in becoming an instructor for the UFT Welfare Fund Retiree Programs?

New daytime instructors are needed. Please send your resume and a cover letter, including the topic you are interested in teaching, to: UFTWF Retiree Programs, 52 Broadway, 17th floor, New York, NY 10004, Attn: Lynn Lospenuso. You can also send an email to Lynn.Lospenuso@uftwf.org.

Money (generic)

Retiree lump-sum payment

In accordance with the 2014 UFT contract, all UFT-represented employees who worked from 2009 to 2018 (or a portion of that period) received a lump-sum payment in October 2019. The payment represents 25 percent of the money owed in 2018. There will be one more payment in October 2020.

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

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.