We teach — and our students live and learn — in a world of rapid change, with new technological tools for navigating that world at our fingertips. For academic high school educators, it’s an exciting and challenging time. Do we have a role in creating innovative teaching environments for our students and professional learning settings for ourselves? I say yes.
When the UFT negotiated its 2018 contract with the city Department of Education, it followed the strategy used by the Federation of Nurses/UFT, which I lead, because of our past success at the bargaining table.The workforce can have a voice, not only in hospitals or schools, but in contract negotiations as well.
This September, 3,000 new teachers have joined the city Department of Education’s ranks. Their interests and backgrounds are as diverse as New York City itself. But whether they teach 3-year-olds on Staten Island or high school biology in Brooklyn, they all have one thing in common: They belong to our United Federation of Teachers family.
One of my responsibilities as the UFT vice president for education is to make sure you stay informed about the rollout of New York State’s Next Generation Learning Standards. In 2018, we focused on raising awareness; this year we are focused on building capacity.
Today, like never before, our collective bargaining rights, benefits and protections are under fire. Our enemies will spread rumors and misinformation designed to undermine working people. They will pretend to be our friends when their goal is to hurt us. If we fall prey to their lies, we risk losing everything.