Happy National Teacher Appreciation Week!
It's that time again for Krispy Kreme DONUTS! This week, in recognition of National Teacher Appreciation Week, President Liz Davis and the entire WTU team want to show our appreciation for the work you do in a very warm and tasty way.
Starting Tuesday, May 5, the WTU will be delivering Krispy Kreme donuts to every school in the District! Deliveries will take place 7-10 am.
Here is the schedule for donut deliveries:
Wards 1-3: Tuesday, May 5
Wards 7-8: Wednesday, May 6
Wards 4-6: Thursday, May 7
Mobilization May Campaign 2015, May 1- May 30
Help Grow Your Union and
Reclaim Our Members!
Mobilization May Toolkits and updated membership status worksite lists are now available and will be delivered to each Building Representative beginning this week.
Your voice matters to ratify the new contract! Only full-dues members ($36.08 per pay period) are eligible to vote on the new contract. Check your paystub to ensure that you are a full member. If not, join today: CLICK HERE.
Local school union leaders should email us today at: email@example.com to schedule Mobilization May training. See below for great prizes available to members stepping up to help us reclaim our members during Mobilization May!
WTU MEMBER APPRECIATION NIGHT
at DC United,
Saturday, May 30
@ RFK Stadiium
Go HERE to see the flyer.
Help us reclaim our members!
- Sign up 20 members or more and you win a free family & friends pack of four tickets to this event, plus four movie tickets!
- Sign up 10-19 members and you win a free family and friends pack of two tickets to this event, plus two movie tickets!
- Sign up 5-9 members and you win one ticket to the game and a $10 Starbucks card!
New members should write their name on the bottom of their original application. Mail-in, hand-deliver or call us to pick up your applications. Photocopied applications are not acceptable by the DC Collective Bargaining agency.
for graduating DCPS seniors
The Washington Teachers' Union
Scholarship Fund is offering $20,000 scholarships to motivated, high-achieving District of Columbia Public School graduating seniors who are interested in obtaining a degree in education and returning to teach in D.C. public schools.
All applications must be submitted or mailed and postmarked by May 15, 2015. Winners will be announced on May 31, 2015.
Go here for more information.
WTU member is a Champion
Harriet Frost, Librarian/Media Specialist at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School, was recently named an American Graduate Champion for her work on behalf of the school's students.
Go HERE to learn more.
DCPS Hiring Fair Schedule
Interested in transferring
to another school?
Here is the schedule for
the hiring fairs.
Thursday, May 28th, Savoy ES
(5 p.m. - 7 p.m.)
Saturday, June 13th, Dunbar HS
(9 a.m. - 3 p.m.)
Elementary School Positions
(9 a.m. - Noon)
Middle and High School Positions
(Noon - 3 p.m.)
Thursday, June 25th, Kelly Miller MS
(1 p.m. - 4 p.m.)
Wednesday, July 15th, Takoma EC
(4 p.m. - 7 p.m.)
These events are exclusively for candidates who are internal to DCPS or have been admitted to the Teach DC recommended pool.
NEED TO KNOW
MORE ABOUT THE
Visit the WTU website under the Know Your Rights tab to view the current WTU/DCPS Collective Bargaining Agreement and contract, Article 4.5 to 18.104.22.168.6
fresh, bold new look!
On it you'll find a wealth of valuable resources, and documents outlining your rights as a D.C. Public School educator. You'll also have access to an ever-growing list of WTU member benefits.
Check it out!
Your union and its leaders are
working hard on your behalf. Stay abreast of the latest WTU events, activities an news at the new and improved WTU Facebook page.
A personal reflection on
the impact of teachers
WTU President Elizabeth Davis
This week is National Teacher Appreciation Week and the Washington Teachers' Union pays tribute to District of Columbia public school educators who use their God-given talents to champion the causes of students who are often unseen, unheard and unassisted. Current and retired teachers of the District of Columbia Public Schools are deeply committed educators who believe in the inherent dignity and worth of every student, irrespective of background, including Zip Code.
I recently received an invitation from the pastor of All Nations Baptist Church to speak at his church's Sunday (May 2) morning worship service to honor teachers for National Teacher Appreciation Week. I'd like to share some of my remarks with you.
While driving here this morning, I reflected on my years as a student in the DCPS system and the impact that teachers have had on my life as a student and a career educator in the DC public schools.
I thought about my first grade teacher in North Carolina, Ms. Whitley, who I loved so much that I literally memorized my Jack and Jill reader to prove my reading ability in her class. I remember being selected by Ms. Whitley to be the May Day queen who would lead the procession for wrapping the May pole on May Day. This was a major event and I was proud to be selected as the May Day queen.
I remember Ms. Whitley coming to my house on a Sunday afternoon to let my mother know I needed a white dress and socks for May Day. As I stood, clinging to one of my mother's legs, I watched Ms. Whitley in her crisp, starched dress and white gloves, standing on our porch, talking to MY mother! It was as if God had come to visit. I will always remember that image and how it began shaping my perceptions about the profession of teaching as being the most important profession in the world.
I attended elementary school through 3rd grade in a segregated school system in the North Carolina. My mother decided to move to DC to avoid having us attend racially segregated schools. I entered the public school system in DC on the cusp of Brown v. Board, so school districts were lagging behind on integrating its schools.
After moving to Washington, DC, I was enrolled in Buchanan Elementary School. I remember my first teacher at Buchanan as well. But it was not a fond memory. I was very quiet and shy with a thick southern accent and amazed about the fearlessness and boldness of my new friends and classmates.
My first teacher at Buchanan, and amazingly the only teacher I can remember, was Ms. Waddy. Although I was very young, I knew that Ms. Waddy didn't like me. I recall having to do a read aloud in the principal's office because Ms. Waddy did not believe the excellent grades on my report card from the South could possibly be equivalent to those at Buchanan and insisted that I was to be put back a grade. The reading and math test I was given proved her wrong so I remained in her class.
I can only remember one other incident during my term at Buchanan. This incident occurred when Ms. Waddy left us unattended to go to the restroom. By the time she returned, the classroom was in total chaos. I must have been the only kid still at my desk because everyone else was up and about, doing cartwheels and tumbles. I was so carried away by the scene that I rose from my seat to watch two boys wrestling on the floor.
Of course, when Ms. Waddy returned, she zoned in me, the only kid still at my desk, but still standing. Her words still linger in my head, "Sit down! Where do you think you are? On a farm?" I'm sure I must have learned something at Buchanan, because I graduated and continued school at Hine JHS and Eastern HS. But the only memories I have of my experience at Buchanan ES were of having to take a reading test in the principal's office and Ms. Waddy's reprimand.
Fortunately, at Hine and Eastern, I had the most amazing teachers who prompted me to never miss a day of school during my entire time in DC schools.
My school experience at Hine JHS and Eastern HS included rock star teachers like Ms. Jackson, my English teacher, my math teacher, Ms. Richardson, Mr. Rollins, my science teacher. At Eastern HS, teachers such as Ms. Davenport and Mr. McIntyre helped to repair the damage that Ms. Waddy had done at Buchanan. One thing I garnered from this experience was that the influence of teachers is far reaching and very powerful.
Elizabeth "Liz" Davis
Teacher Leaders to present findings
at Research Symposium on May 16
WTU Teachers Leaders will present their research findings at a symposium at McKinley Tech High School, Sat., May 16, 9 am - 2 pm. Teacher Leaders are full-time classroom teachers who have been selected to join a nationwide network. They are taking an active role in influencing policy in a number of areas, including teacher leadership in school change, teacher preparation, professional development, the role of high stakes testing and teacher evaluation.
WTU Teacher Leaders have regularly discussed policies that impact student achievement and have participated in discussions with elected leaders and leading policy experts.
Attendance at the symposium is free and teachers will earn Four Professional Learning Units. Enjoy Networking and Great Food.
RSVP by May 8, 2015 at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
is an invitation to the symposium.
Below are the symposium presenters and their topics
Imani Abdullah (Whittier Education Campus)
Teacher Effectiveness and Special Education Students in the General Education Setting
Maria Angala (Jefferson Academy)
Effects of After School PD on Teachers and Students
Olubusola Ayangbesan and Shakera Oliver (Brightwood Education Campus)
Cultural Competency: Examining Strategies for Special Education and Understanding of Sub-groups to Narrow the Achievement Gap
Busra Aydin (Noyes Elementary School)
Examination of students who read on grade level yet perform below grade level on varied assessment
Rajeeni Galloway (Marie Reed Education Campus)
Librarians are Life Lines for Student Achievement: A case for flexible scheduling
Alicia Hunter (Woodrow Wilson High School)
Competition in Public Schools: An Investment in Public Relations
Jessica Levknecht (Banneker Academic High School)
Multiple Choice Testing: Perception vs. Reality
Cheryl Miller (Takoma Education Campus)
Standardized Testing (PARCC) and Special Needs Students
Monica Moment (Banneker Academic High School)
ASK ME: I AM THE LEARNER
Jacqueline Pogue-Lyons (Savoy Elementary School)
Recruitment and Retention of New Teachers at Low Performing Urban Schools
Eric Porter (Hardy Middle School)
Homework: Why Won't You Do It?
Sarah Elwell (McKinley Technical High School)
WTU Teacher Leaders Program Coordinator
DCPS budget cuts will hurt education programs,
students, WTU leader tells City Council committee
The WTU is urging the D.C. City Council to have the DCPS administration "revisit, revise and rethink the proposed budget cuts for targeted schools."
Testifying before the D.C. City Council Education Committee chaired by David Grosso, WTU President Elizabeth Davis said: "After receiving the proposed school budgets, hundreds of our members have expressed grave concern over the proposed budget cuts for their schools. These cuts will leave schools with insufficient staff to sustain quality education programs, cripple school's efforts to close its achievement gap and compromise efforts to serve the neediest and most at-risk students in our school system."
Students, especially those in the city's lowest performing schools, need additional support services, such as counselors, special education teachers, social workers and other wraparound services, Davis said in her testimony. "Without additional funding, these schools will be left to make difficult decisions that will impact students for years to come."
The WTU president told the council committee that DCPS has unilaterally enacted divisive programs, exited more teachers than it employs, and closed a record number of schools--with little or no improvement to show for these policies and practices.
"The DCPS strategy to address declining achievement in schools with long histories of being starved of resources has been to continue that trend. School closures have disproportionately hit neighborhoods in Wards 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, while a culture of "winners and losers" has rewarded schools in neighborhoods largely already rich with resources," Davis said.
She urged that DCPS collaborate with the union and its members who have put forth strategies aimed at addressing the inequities found in the city's failing school system, including ensuring that teachers have the trust, support and time they need to do their jobs, initiatives that improve students' readiness to learn and resources that will help children realize their full potential.
"True collaboration involves all parties sharing and working together to find solutions to our common problems," Davis testified.
Read President Davis's full testimony
Here are DCPS responses to budget questions from WTU and members
Teacher licensure, Mobilization May were
on the agenda at April meeting
Union hears the concerns of ESL teachers
Teacher licensure requirements, Mobilization May and the work of ESL teachers were all on the agenda when the WTU held its monthly Delegate Assembly meeting at McKinley Tech on April 21. In her opening remarks, President Elizabeth Davis shared some of the concerns teachers have raised about the PARCC assessment, most notably its impact on
instruction. "We are focusing too much of our time on testing rather than teaching," asserted Davis, who promised that the WTU would continue to speak out about the problems associated with the PARCC assessment.
The WTU president urged educators to add their voices to the discussions around the DCPS budget by testifying at the DC City Council hearings or sending letters to members of the council's education committee. Proposed cuts in funding to schools like Wilson H.S., she said, would hurt academic programs and be a setback to the effort to improve the educational outcomes of students, especially the most at-risk kids.
Davis also urged meeting participants to get behind the union's Mobilization May campaign, which is designed to dramatically increase the number of full-dues paying members. There's strength in numbers, Davis said, and "we're organizing for power."
Teachers had numerous questions for Anthony Brown from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) who presented on his office's teacher licensure process. Brown discussed the the different types of licenses provided by OSSE as well as the required credentials and forms.
The importance of holding local school elections and making sure that teachers are well represented on the various school-based decisionmaking teams was stressed by WTU General Vice President Candi Peterson.
Peterson also talked about the DCPS Mandatory Drug and Alcohol Testing program and the union's response to some of its key provisions.
The meeting concluded with a discussion of the work of ESL teachers and what contract language was needed to address their workplace concerns, such as the extra duties they are often assigned to perform. Pres. Davis assured the ESL teachers in attendance that the union would continue its dialogue with them.
Hold a local union election and have a voice in your school
Local school elections due by May 31; training available from WTU
The union committees and local school union leadership roles established in the WTU contract give you a voice in your school. Elections for the Building Representative, the School Chapter Advisory Committee, Personnel Committee and Representative/Delegate Assembly should be held in May.
Teachers at schools that don't hold elections are unable to fully participate in resolving local school issues, and don't have input when critical decisions are made about their local school budget, excessing, hiring, etc.
WTU is offering training for members interested in taking on a leadership roles. Contact the union at email@example.com.
Here's a packet with additional information about
local school elections and the necessary forms
IMPACT TEACH 7 training is a HIT with members
A packed room of educators was on hand for the WTU's "IMPACT TEACH 7 Support: Questioning Beyond Bloom" training session. Participants learned how to defend their questioning practices, ask and craft purposeful questions and use research to inform their questioning practices. The training was led by Whittier Education Campus teacher Dianne Moore Williams.
Here's what one participant had to say about the training: "This was so helpful. Of my two IMPACT evaluations as a new teacher, I have received no more than a two this this TEACH and I could not understand why. I am now leaving this training with strategies to raise my score, but also how to better use the teaching materials I've been given, how to select better materials and how defend myself with my principal and my master educators."
Nominations for WTU election committee, delegates to
the MD./DC AFL-CIO convention and the AFT convention
In accordance with the WTU constitution and by-laws, the union will soon be conducting elections for the Elections Committee, delegates to the Maryland/DC AFL-CIO Convention, and delegates to AFT Convention.
At the link below, you will find a letter from the chair of the WTU Elections Committee, as well as additional information about these elections, including eligibility, term of office, deadlines and nominating petitions.