Educators and our unions must be at the forefront of struggles for democracy and social justice. We are therefore disappointed that the proposal to discuss a resolution for a democratic process to choose our union’s 2020 presidential endorsement was voted down at the December Delegate Assembly.
I cheered when I read “Avoiding flying dictionaries” [New Teacher Diaries, Dec. 12]. How encouraging to learn there is such a wise and sensitive English as a new language teacher in New York City! The strategies the teacher employs to increase students’ understanding of words will go far in increasing their overall success in school and in life. ENL teachers, and all teachers of English, also should inspire their students by reading aloud poetry and excerpts from fictional works that are appropriate for their students’ age and capabilities.
The effect we have on the students in front of us is often unknown. We can make a difference and consequently change the world. The novice and the veteran teacher need to hear this. Although our role in the culture is often belittled, our influence in the classroom should never be underestimated.
The union has already criticized the validity of a single test for admission to gifted-and-talented programs and specialized high schools. I ask that our union take bold anti-racist leadership in favor of equitable enrichment programs for all students and for school integration.