AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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A New Path Forward

I care for our children's futures I encourage creativity I strive for excellence I teach to inspire

Our Inspiring Stories

"Schools are not factories that produce little robots--we can do so much better than that! We have to be fluid, creative, responsive and human in order to get our students ready for the ever-changing world."

- Monica H., AFT member from Minnesota

"I don't just teach my students the importance of leading an active and healthy life (I teach Physical Education and Health to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders), but I also teach them the importance of fair play, being kind to others, working together as a team to reach a common goal, and the importance of taking responsibility for their own actions."

- Kathy I., AFT member from Illinois

"We need to show our children that we all walk the same path. Some may walk faster or even run, but even if you crawl, you will still be on the same path. I do not spoil and make empty promises, I give hope where some may feel there is none. I try and inspire and get all my students to believe in themselves and to be productive citizens. I teach because I enjoy what I do."

- Jeffrey T., AFT member from New Jersey

"I teach because I make a difference, it's challenging, and it's fun. I LOVE what I do.... I teach because of my students. Like my student who went from failing in middle school to being the first in his family to go to college and be a part of the Educational Opportunity Program at Cal State East Bay. She is now at UC Berkeley planning to use her education to give back to her community."

- Jessica Q., AFT member from California

"Education is the most important investment we will make in our children. And let?s face it, whether we have our own children or not, the students are our children, even for only six hours a day. I teach to be part of that investment to help make children become productive members of society."

- Thomas W., AFT member from Michigan

"We need time to prepare good lessons. We need material such as art supplies, good literature, films, ELD ideas, etc. We need to be brought to the table with the district leaders and be included in their curricular decisions, not have them handing down edicts. That just doesn't work. We need to collaborate with pre-school, high school, the city, and community within which we live."

- Mamiche Y., AFT member from California

"I teach because I want to motivate children to learn. Not every child can learn the same. This is why I am in my 20th year teaching special education students. They are the students who need us most and I cherish every moment I have with them."

- Pamela C., AFT member from New York

"I believe I teach life, but we call it high school Spanish. What I really teach besides just language skills is what many kids these days most need: discipline, organization, respect, structure and other life skills."

- Dennis B., AFT member from Illinois

"I teach because I recognize that the world is a changing tapestry, that we must change with it and offer our students the skills to be part of a global environment that is technology and information based, no longer just agriculture, industry and manufacturing."

- Sydney G., AFT member from Connecticut

Additional Resources

A New Path Forward: Speech by Randi Weingarten

What Matters Most column by Randi Weingarten (New York Times)

New Colorado Pilot Program Deals with Teacher Evaluation

A Continuous Improvement Model for Teacher Evaluation

Teacher Evaluation Ad Hoc Committee

Effective Labor-Management Relationships to Create Stronger Schools

A Call for Effective Labor-Management Relationships to Create Stronger Schools

What Teachers Need to Help Students Succeed

Letter to American Association of School Administrators

Press coverage

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