UFT Elections 2019 – Issues – Teacher Autonomy

  • Bring back teacher autonomy. Your class is your class: Teachers are being given directives and curriculum and told “Do exactly this on this day and do not deviate.” Even if those words are not used, teacher autonomy has been removed from the classroom and our members have been turned into robots. One teacher told us they used to love having the students dress up and holding mock hearings when learning about the Salem Witch Trials. “I can’t do that anymore. When do I have the time? Joy and engagement has been stripped out of school lessons.

    According to City Limits: Parents, students and educators at the town hall are part of a larger conversation about how to make schools welcoming and relevant for all children. Equalizing resources and even integrating schools is not enough, says Matt Gonzales, NY Appleseed’s Diversity Project director. We, also, he says, “have to do deep work so all kids who enter the classroom are uplifted.”Nelson Luna of the Bronx, now a first-year student at Columbia University, agrees that’s not currently the case. “When you don’t see yourself, you don’t feel connected and you don’t feel passionate. You feel out of place.”

    We say let teachers teach with their own styles and help foster and support their styles that work.

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