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Wednesday, June 3, 2020

NYC Educator: On Union in Apocalypse Times

NYC Educator: On Union in Apocolypse Times

On Union in Apocalypse Times

Dudley Do-Right Intro via @YouTube

The other day I read a post on Facebook that asked what our union was doing about the outlandish work/ PD day we have tomorrow. It continued to say something like, "I don't want to hear any of that we are the union crap." This member, like a whole lot of us, sees the union as a separate entity. When you're in trouble, the union should come riding on a white horse and untie you from the railroad tracks.

Of course someone should get you off of those tracks. But first, you have to be on them. You have to be somewhere. The truth is you aren't some helpless innocent at the mercy of whatever bad guy twirls his mustache. You can set your own course.

Tomorrow is more of a nuisance than anything else. It's wasteful, it's stupid, and it's poorly conceived. Truth be told, though, the DOE was supposed to put up work yesterday that required no correction or input from teachers. (Maybe they did. I haven't checked.) It's not like they're oppressing us. They're simply wasting our time, and that of 1.1 million schoolchildren.

So tomorrow, a lot of teachers will go to some crappy useless PD brought to you by people who have no idea what we actually do. I'm going to teach. We don't have that much time left, and as much as I want to hear from the people who brought us two extra weeks in overcrowded, Covid-infested buildings, I'm pretty sure that the kids I serve need English more than I need another PD session. I've been taking PD from the DOE for 35 years, and so far the most it's ever been useful has been never.

Leadership has not taken exactly my position on this, but they know what it is regardless. I haven't been shy with it. They know the DOE failed to plan, and they know tomorrow is nonsense. Beyond that, it's insulting to working teachers. We do not just give busy work.

There were things I really liked about the chancellor. I've seen him speak well of teachers, and I've seen him stand for students I serve. That said, I've found him disappointing of late. I was shocked that he rejected our petition to close the schools, demanding 108,000 signatures from epidemiologists rather than working teachers. We, working teachers, were standing up for health and safety, and that of our students. We were absolutely right, and days later the chancellor's boss acceded to our demands.

That's what happens when we, the union, stand together. The union is you and me. It's not just Michael Mulgrew sitting on a throne on top of  CONTINUE READING: 
NYC Educator: On Union in Apocolypse Times