I am a first-year teacher, mother of four and a full-time master’s student at Touro College. Do not ask me how I do it, but I am working hard and shining with the support of my union, the UFT.
As a paraprofessional interested in an education career, the UFT’s Career Training Program helped me obtain a DOE voucher to earn my bachelor’s in early childhood education and psychology. [See “A career ladder for paraprofessionals,” Know Your Benefits column in the Feb. 17 issue of the New York Teacher.] It didn’t stop there. With the UFT’s support, I applied for the Paraprofessional to Teacher Pathway Graduate Reimbursement Program. Yes, paraprofessionals can get support and reimbursement for their master’s program. Wait, there’s more. When I was completing my teacher certification, I was able to apply for the Paraprofessional Certification Testing Reimbursement Program.
There is so much more my union supports me on. My message to readers is to know your union rights and benefits. I have been with the UFT for six years, and it has guided me in growing, climbing the career ladder and never looking back.
Rida Ehsan, PS 140 in Jamaica, Queens
Editor’s note: Visit her #UnionProud testimonial from 2019.