I am finally starting to detach myself from my almost thirty years of teaching in the Bronx. I’m teaching juniors and seniors a few days a week, outside of the NYC area. As a part time teacher, who’s retired, I’m trying to join the local teachers union. I have to say it is a real union - when teachers here need help - experienced or new - they get it. When I look at the NYC teacher blogs and the rationalizations (and anger), by some in the Unity cult, to the almost completely impotent UFT, I’m amazed.
I’m off tomorrow (and Monday) and just started my Memorial Day weekend. I looked back at this post from a couple of years ago, to compare it to today. My advice, after re- reading it, is to get out of the DOE/UFT (I can not distinguish between the two) ASAP. Happy Memorial Day.
Saturday, May 27, 2017
First enjoy your weekend, but remember why we're off on Monday. Many people don't stop and give pause for all those who sacrificed for our ideals. Most teachers I meet seem to truly hate their jobs. Some were actually running to their cars this afternoon. It was like a meteor was about to hit the area and it was a matter of life or death to escape as quickly as possible. I never saw traffic like I did this afternoon - it took me one hour to go four miles. Unfortunately, for most of us, the thought of being off far outweighs the reality. Personally, I had a lot of fun with the kids this week. I had the same classes and was teaching literature. No excerpts, the entire book. I tricked the kids into learning, despite themselves. Old teaching tricks that I learned long ago. It hit me how much I miss teaching. Actually teaching classes, having kids listen and do work felt wonderful. When I teach, I get a feeling of elation that is unlike anything else. That that joy was taken from me, and so many others, for no other reason than we are at the higher end of the pay scale is maddening. The UFT has been more than disappointing, in that it doesn't seem to be willing to support us, even minimally. That it went so far as to agree to put in discriminatory provisions in the last contract (that have since expired) was a profound betrayal. It now openly lies and/or ignores us and tells us how lucky ATRs are to have a job. The truly fortunate group is the UFT. It is lucky that dues are still mandatory. Things may change for all of us. I will continue to support the UFT, despite my anger and disappointment, but I hope that the UFT starts to respect its veteran members. The UFT should carefully consider what it is agreeing to in its representation of us. It hasn't asked for our input. It hasn't informed us or kept us informed. That fact, at the very least, should imply strong representation on the part of the UFT. Let's hope that a darkly imagined meteor doesn't strike ATRs or the UFT.