Friday, July 29, 2011

Fwd: News from AFT Teachers, July 2011

------Original Message------
From: Roger Glass, Editor TCHR.eNews
Subject: News from AFT Teachers, July 2011
----News from AFT Teachers, July 2011----
A TEACHable moment
Thousands of classroom teachers flocked to Washington, D.C., this month for TEACH, the AFT's biennial education conference. One theme woven throughout the proceedings couldn't have been more timely or vital: Keep the voice of people who do the work inside the education decisions that affect the work
You'll find AFT president Randi Weingarten's keynote address, along with many other TEACH-related photos, videos and follow-up materials here:
And even though the conference is over, AFT TEACH's Facebook page (, Twitter feed ( and website ( will offer professional resources year-round.

An engaged and energized labor movement
In states across the country, educators, firefighters, police officers and other public employees have faced off with governors and state legislatures bent on rolling back the gains made by these workers. The battles have galvanized the labor movement and our allies. In late June, the We Are Ohio coalition delivered petitions with nearly 1.3 million signatures to the office of the Ohio secretary of state in support of a referendum that would give Ohioans an opportunity to repeal the state's anti-worker collective bargaining law when they vote on Nov. 8. The secretary of state has since certified the signatures on the petition, and the referendum will be on the November ballot.
Read more on,
and watch this video:

AFT Voices -
What is the number one issue affecting our country and why?
Submit your comment:
Read other comments:

Getting serious about a skilled teacher workforce
The AFT joined with the American Association of School Administrators this summer to launch a groundbreaking partnership based on their commitment to ensure a skilled teacher workforce for today's knowledge-based economy. The two organizations have adopted a framework to continuously improve the nation's teaching force, revamp teacher development and evaluation systems, and provide teachers and schools the tools and support they need. The framework is based on the principles that most successful countries use to develop and sustain a highly trained and well-supported educator workforce.
Read the joint press statement here:

Reaching all kids
The latest MetLife Survey of the American Teacher pinpoints four elements that teachers need to reach all kids: opportunities for collaborative teaching, access to online tools that help tailor their students' education, better diagnostic tools, and instructional strategies for classrooms with many English language learners.
Learn more about the results here:

AFT+ Member Benefits - Wireless Phone Service

Join AFT on Facebook -
Jen Conant posted: "I don't think anyone is against cuts in the budget. But they need to be the right cuts, which don't include education, Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security. Those are straight-up attacks on working families and senior citizens."

AFT members are Making a Difference Every Day!
Second-grade teacher Jessica Villicana, from Tampa, Fla., says the joys of teaching boil down to two things: the way kids laugh and the excitement they feel when they understand something.
Watch this video to see how Jessica is making a difference every day:

Workshops, Workshops and More Workshops! Ms Kathy & Franceen: Tuckered Out!

Don't you hate when people refer to themselves in the third person?  Well, I have been so on the roll that I feel like, not only have I been on roller skates, but I have been like two people skating in different directions. Ms. Kathy and Franceen (my alter-ego) have been on the move!

Immediately after the ESY summer school ended, Ms. Kathy packed her car with the rest of her summer classroom things.  Franceeen had packed the Kairos Prison Ministry agape materials and supplies and her luggage for the Kairos Weekend in that same car. Can we tell you it was a loaded down car? It was. But then, that's it's usual state when the work load is overwhelming--like this past school year.

We made sure the classroom was all clean and in better shape than we left it as during summer we are visitors on someone else's campus and using the classrooms of teachers who use the classrooms during the regular school year. 

The Kairos weekend is actually 3 1/2 days starting on a Thursday afternoon and lasting until the late afternoon on Sunday.  The prayer vigil was  not filled until that morning so with work, Franceen hadn't had a chance to divide all of the 30-minute increments into 10-minute increments and print them on colored card stock paper. Ms. Kathy couldn't get to the hotel until after 4:00PM (we were s'posed to be there at least by 1:00PM) so two ladies that helped, Ms. Kathy and Franceen were in the conference room working on it until after 1:00AM. That involved copying the entire list into a Word document and making 2 more rows for each person who signed up for 30 minutes and making them each 10 minutes. that's multiplying 154 rows by 3 and printing them out one sheet at a time, cutting each strip apart and stapling the strips into a chain. Soooooo, Ms. Kathy and Franceeen  were up late nearly every night of the Kairos weekend doing one thing or another for agape.

We were too tired to unpack Sunday evening and the next morning Ms. Kathy attended a workshop about the Read, Write GOLD program. Ms. Kathy is very excited about the applications of that program for children with visual impairments, by the way. Franceen said, "Go to bed. Part 2 is tomorrow." Ms. Kathy said, "BUT in two days the Expo starts and you need to check your box you used from last year to make sure you have everything you need." 

Franceen said, "Go to bed. You have the afternoon. Put your feet up.  Zonk out. That's an order."

After Part 2 of the RWG workshop, the following day was the Education Expo. Ms. Kathy wanted to attend some of the other sessions. So she did, against Franceeen's advice. But it was worthwhile learning about other things to help her kids. And Franceen helped review information for the session she was to present the following day.

  Ms. Kathy presented a workshop session at the EBR Schools Educational Expo called "OCMe2!" The title look like a difficult formula but she pointed out that it was made that way to reflect what some teachers think when they have a child with a visual impairment in their class. Actually as she explained, much of it is common sense and if one reads the formula a certain way it reads "Oh, See Me, too!" Then she spoke to the ladies about certain activities that they can do in their classes to include that child with visual impairments or so that that child will have the same outcome as the sighted children in the class.  There was a  lot to share and Ms. Kathy felt like she couldn't get enough activities to the ladies. But Franceen noted how each one of them came to her and said they enjoyed it and would like to keep in contact by email. 

Ms. Kathy already knew each of them except one and that one was very excited to know our program and services are available in the parish.
Ms. Kathy visited her mother's house, which is an almost daily MUST. Getting excited about being able to sleep in, finally and maybe get some housecleaning done. Her niece and grandniece are still visiting. But they need to get to the New Orleans airport tomorrow. Can Ms. Kathy take them. Of course.  We cannot have our mom driving over there. Oh, well. So much for a day to sleep in and get much done at the house. At least husband will be home by then.

Oh! Saw supervisor at the expo and she informed Ms.Kathy that she will need to move from the present school since one of the VI specialists retired at the end of last school year and those of us left will need to absorb that case load. Let's not think about that right now.