Texas AFT Higher Education Committee explores the ‘Intersection of Immigration and Education’
“We do this work because the experiences of our students and our wider community, and our work can not be separated.”
That sentiment from Karen Reyes, an Austin ISD teacher and Education Austin board member, framed a virtual discussion on immigration and education hosted by Texas AFT’s Committee on Higher Education in May.
The committee, made up of members and leaders from Texas AFT’s higher ed local unions, brought together a diverse panel to discuss current issues with immigration and how those have affected our communities. Read more takeaways from the discussion on our website.
Share My Lesson: Immigrant Heritage Month
President Biden has proclaimed the month of June as National Immigrant Heritage Month. With this brand-new collection to commemorate the celebration of immigrants across the nation, Share My Lesson is providing innovative and rich ways to recognize all the pieces that make America what it is. View the lessons and resources on the Share My Lesson website.
Local leader spotlight: Wanda Longoria, President of Northside AFT
Historically, Northside ISD was a small, rural district in the San Antonio area. In the past 20 years, though, it has expanded to the fourth-largest district in Texas.
We sat down with Wanda to discuss what’s been going on at Northside AFT recently and about her journey into activism and leadership. Read the interview here.
Make sure you are registered to vote
Across the country, voting rights are under attack. It’s no surprise that the same wealthy interest groups that often come after unions are now trying to undermine our democracy. Texas leaders should be ensuring that voters have access to the ballot box, not trying to add restrictions and make it harder to vote. Working people didn’t vote for this, and we won’t stand for it. One thing you can do right now is to make sure you are registered to vote for your next local, state, or federal election. Educators (and their friends and families) can’t afford to be unregistered. Visit https://register2vote.org/ to learn more (and please copy and paste this link into a text and text that colleague or family member that might not be registered).
If you want to take national action to stand up for voting rights, you can write a letter to your US Senator urging them to support S. 1, the For the People Act.
Know Your Rights: Joining a Union
“Texas doesn’t have unions.”
As Texas AFT members, you may be familiar with this tired and inaccurate statement.
The next time it comes up, use our Know Your Rights guide to joining a union to educate fellow public school employees and community members on your rights to join a union. (And yes, we are definitely a union.)
AFT’s next biennial professional learning conference, TEACH (Together Educating America’s Children), will be held virtually July 6-10, 2021.
TEACH 2021 will feature:
- Inspiring speakers on key issues, like rebuilding academically from the pandemic and creating anti-racist communities
- Engaging cross-curricular sessions with meaningful tools and resources to use in your school
- Solutions to ensure students’ social emotional learning and the freedom to thrive
- Opportunities to collaborate with colleagues
Register now! You can also join the TEACH 2021 community on Share My Lesson to review conference content from 2019, find related resources, and join the discussion about what you hope to see at TEACH 2021.
Texas AFT will hold its biennial convention virtually on June 25-26. The Texas AFT Convention is the highest governing body of our state union. Delegates have the power to set the general policies of the organization by adopting convention resolutions, amending the constitution and by-laws, and electing the Texas AFT president and secretary-treasurer.
Those interested in being delegates for local unions should contact your union directly for more information. Guests also are welcome to register for and attend the convention. See our Convention 2021 page for more information. Deadline to register is June 15.
Bridges Institute for Professional Development: upcoming webinars
Differentiating Instruction: Principles of Successful Classrooms for Academically Diverse Learners
June 23, 10 a.m.–noon
This session is designed to raise awareness of research that supports differentiation and to teach the basic components of differentiation. The goal of the session is to help teachers reflect on the strengths of their current instructional practices and opportunities for further growth in teaching academically diverse students effectively. Register at http://bit.ly/diverselearnersaft.
Culturally Responsive Pedagogy
June 30, 10 a.m.–noon
In this session participants will operationalize the connection between culture and cognition, design strength-focused lessons and activities, and implement research-based pedagogy in classrooms with ethnically diverse students. Register at http://bit.ly/responsivepedagogy.
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