Saturday, December 4, 2010

Effective & Progressive Unions

Unions should serve as advocates for 1) effective working conditions and 2) worthwhile education.
I'd like to see a more progressive union in Philadelphia that emphasizes:
1)  Teacher-lead professional development.
2)  Healthier lunch choices, regardless of school size or vendor contracts.
3)  Full-time nurses in each school, every day of the week. Think of the opportunities for "wellness studies" link to science, physical education, social studies and electives.
4)  Re-negotiated school calendar that emphasizes time for civic engagement, family time, rest and recreation. Why in the world are children off on Election Day when their parents and teachers are working? How can we re-organize our school calendar so that families have more time to be together? And let's recognize an Indigenous People's Day.
5)  Site-based decision-making with regard to hiring, budgeting and curriculum choices. Let's emphasize students' love of learning, collaborating and presenting rather than isolated content.  Make district-wide curricula optional and collaborative.
6)  Flexible site-based scheduling that emphasizes teachers' co-planning and reflection.
What do teachers unions look like where you're from?  What can we do to help our unions be advocates for worthwhile education?

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