Share My Lesson to present free wellness sessions during Teacher Appreciation Week

As part of a month of new virtual sessions, AFT’s Share My Lesson will present three wellness programs during Teacher Appreciation Week, which is May 3-7. The offerings that week are:

May 4 at 6 p.m. ET: “For All Abilities: Mindfulness and Yoga With Grand Love”
Join DeAnn Albertson-Fontanella to connect with your inner self through asanas, breathing and meditation.…

Read more

Webinar examines how colleges can help students post-pandemic

Alexander Kafka, senior editor at The Chronicle of Higher Education, will be among the speakers during the virtual forum “Post-Pandemic Campus Well-Being” on May 5 at 2 p.m. ET.

Experts from around the country will convene to examine how colleges can help students flourish both physically and emotionally.

To register for the webinar, click here.…

Read more

Diversity Dialogue: Don’t be idle as our democracy slides toward aristocracy

By Donna M. Chiera

In March, I wrote a blog post on how GOP state legislators realized changing demographics threaten their chances of winning statewide and federal elections. Rather than addressing and adapting their positions to meet the needs of their constituents, they are passing laws to suppress the rights of the voters in these states.…

Read more

American Families Plan calls for free preschool and community college, support for educators

Described by the White House as an investment “to grow the middle class,” President Joe Biden’s American Families Plan will provide free universal preschool for all children ages 3-4 and two years of free community college for all Americans, including DREAMers.

The American Families Plan will ensure “that all publicly-funded preschool is high-quality, with low student-to-teacher ratios, high-quality and developmentally appropriate curriculum, and supportive classroom environments that are inclusive for all students,” according to a White House statement released April 28.…

Read more

Panel for GFT-arranged racism talk features George Floyd family attorney

“Real Talk About Racism,” an online panel discussion arranged by Garfield Federation of Teachers members Paola Brown and Chris Storms and students at Garfield High School, will take place April 29 at 6 p.m. ET.

The panel will include Jeff Storms, brother of Chris Storms and an attorney for the families of George Floyd and Daunte Wright.…

Read more

Latest issue of AFT Health Care is out now

The spring 2021 issue of AFT Health Care delves into the problem of moral injury among health care professionals, explaining what causes it, offering self-care strategies for providers, and discussing the long-term systemic changes necessary for patients and providers to thrive.

Among the issue’s other features: the importance of respectful maternity care for women of color, how clinicians can support health literacy and equity through improved communication, and the essential work of nurse practitioners.…

Read more

Study: U.S. school meals get good grades for nutritional value

A recently released Tufts University study of American diets from 2003-04 to 2017-18 shows that 45 percent of children’s meals from grocery stores were of poor nutritional quality. School meals, however, fared much better, with just 24 percent classified as poor quality.

“Schools are now the single healthiest place Americans are eating,” said Dariush Mozaffarian, a senior author of the study.…

Read more

Column: Let’s rewrite rules for teachers’ paid leave

Jahdziah St. Julien, a research associate at the Better Life Lab at New America, describes the rules pertaining to teachers’ paid family and medical leave as “convoluted,” saying they “resemble those of a complicated board game specifically designed to make winning nearly impossible.”

“To help teachers, we must rewrite the rules of the paid leave game altogether,” St.…

Read more

Lessons, best practices requested for DOE’s Safer Schools website

Pre-K to 12 schools, colleges and universities have until September to submit lessons from the field and best practices for safe operations during the pandemic to the U.S. Department of Education for its Safer Schools and Campuses Best Practices Clearinghouse website.

Submissions can be substantive materials, sample agreements among partners, ready-to-implement resources and videos.

Rhea Kelly of The Journal has more.…

Read more

AFT among supporters of legislation investing $25B in electric school buses

A bill set to be introduced April 21 would invest $25 billion in electric school buses, covering the purchase of the vehicles as well as the cost for charging stations and training workers, reports Associated Press writer Hope Yen.

“Transitioning our school bus fleet to zero-emission vehicles is an essential aspect of building equitable, sustainable infrastructure and is a wise investment in our children, our environment and our future,” said California Sen.…

Read more

Paradiso, Audet speak out ahead of students returning to Perth Amboy classrooms

Perth Amboy Federation (Local 857) President Pat Paradiso and district representative Lynn Audet spoke about scheduling and other concerns during the public portion of April 15’s board of education meeting, 11 days before students are due to return to classrooms for in-person learning.

As reported by Katherine Massopust in the April 21 print edition of The Amboy Guardian, Paradiso repeatedly referred to Perth Amboy teachers being treated as “second-class citizens” saddled with such burdens as teaching for five consecutive hours without a bathroom break and covering additional classes without extra compensation.…

Read more

New Zoom policy means less moderation of college, university usage

Colleges and universities now have more authority when they use Zoom for their virtual events.

For Zoom meetings and webinars hosted by a higher education institution, the Trust and Safety team will only act on reports alleging content-related violations of our Community Standards or Terms of Service that come from the meeting’s host or the account’s owners or administrators,” says an April 13 post on Zoom’s website.…

Read more

Sweeney’s college plan addresses affordability, retaining N.J. students

In a guest column for The Star-Ledger, State Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney writes about a plan that would guarantee the last two years of college at any of New Jersey’s public higher education institutions are tuition-free for students from qualifying N.J. households based on adjusted gross income.

His plan, which he says “uses a similar model that is now in place” with the Community College Opportunity Grant, “will help make a college education affordable and help retain more of those students who now are going elsewhere to college out of state because it is less expensive,” Sweeney writes.…

Read more

Mercy and change are at the heart of Many Threads webinar

Join Leven “Chuck” Wilson, whose credits include being a partner of the AFT’s teacher diversity program, for the webinar “Courageous Conversation: The Art of Listening, Mercy and Change” on April 22 at 4 p.m. ET.

According to the description by co-presenter NYSUT, participants of this Many Threads, One Fabric session will “learn more about the essential art of change as we fight to address the attitudinal and structural barriers behind the persistent racial disparities witnessed in our communities and workplaces.”…

Read more