Monday, November 9, 2015

UFT Elections: Happy Teachers Often Don't Give a Crap About the Union

So I work with a bunch of current and former teachers and other DOE people in the theater group. They put an enormous amount of time into the theater. Other teachers have other passionate interests. Like the people I work with in the robotics program.

They have little or no interest in the union or UFT elections.

They talk about their kids and their jobs often and are excited by what is going on in their classrooms.

They have little or no interest in the union or UFT elections.

Once in  awhile I may be asked a question about the union, or when they run into some trouble - but basically...

They have little or no interest in the union or UFT elections.

There are thousands of teachers who - shock, shock, shock - actually like teaching, see it as a career and like their schools and even -- shock, shock, shock -- their supervisors.

They have little or no interest in the union or UFT elections.

I know there are so many others who have that doom and gloom feeling, as I do -- and the few times I tried to bust their bubble there is not much of a reaction - so I just stop

Now, when the election ballots come out and I tell them about MORE they just might vote for MORE because they know me -- otherwise .....

Some people brand this as apathy --- maybe -- but also people who have their own wide range of interests and are happy in their jobs -- generally don't look to get involved in the union - or in an opposition movement to create change. Especially when they have a benign administration. They must exist despite all the sturm and drang.


2 comments:

  1. While one might argue that we shouldn't criticize the UFT leadership if happy/satisfied teachers are indifferent to union matters, it does deserve criticism because the many miserable, persecuted teachers in the system feel abandoned by the union. That is one major place where the leadership has failed, in making members feel the union has their back. Even in schools with conscientious Chapter Leaders, Unity or not, teachers are always asking, "Where's the union."

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  2. I have been hearing how unhappy many early childhood teachers are, especially UPKs and Ks, because of the imposition of the Common Core standards and how developmentally inappropriate they are. But I was surprised last night, at a book launch about Gates and his supercharged foundation, to hear a high school teacher and a middle school teacher on the panel complaining about how their curriculum has been changed and they are now pressured into being test preppers. I think that not only classroom teachers are angry but that so-called happy teachers also resent the Common Core and teacher evaluations based on student scores. I've never seen so many angry teacher with good reason. Mulgrew is wrong on so many issues and comes across as a light weight who knows little about education (see your video from the LA AFT convention in the summer of 2014 and his defense of the Common Core. Randi probably made him do it.) A defeat of Unity may not be possible but a strong showing by someone like Jia Lee would cut through all the hopelessness among the rank and file about changing the union so that it stood up for classroom teachers. One last note about UFT retirees and their massive vote for Unity. If the word got out that their grandchildren are being adversely affected by the Common Core especially when they're 4 and 5 years old that might get their attention and votes away from Unity.

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