Members flex their civic muscle on virtual lobby day
More than 100 AFT members took a virtual journey to Capitol Hill as part of the AFT’s biennial TEACH conference, directly urging members of Congress to fund public schools, support unions and take care of our nation so we can make a full recovery from the pandemic. The educators shared their experiences seeing firsthand how the American Rescue Plan has helped students struggling through pandemic setbacks, and they advocated for additional legislation that will continue to address pressing needs and ensure all students have the freedom to thrive.
Weingarten shares vision for safe, welcoming school year
AFT President Randi Weingarten welcomed thousands of educators to TEACH today with a full-throated push to reopen schools for in-person learning this fall. She rallied members after a year of uncertainty, honoring them for their dedication during the pandemic and offering visions for community schools with wraparound services and for project-based learning. She announced AFT initiatives in literacy and civics that will spark kids’ passion for learning, and she stressed the importance of teaching critical thinking and accurate history.
Year in Review video
AFT TEACH 2021 kicked off with a retrospective highlighting the extraordinary work of AFT members, from their turn-on-a-dime flexibility after the sudden closure of schools in March 2020 to their unwavering determination to fight for their students and communities. It documents the daunting challenges teachers and school staff have faced: bridging the digital divide, mastering new technology, meeting emotional needs as the country reckons with racism, pushing for safe school reopening in district after district, advocating for federal relief legislation, electing a new pro-education U.S. president and, most of all, making sure students know their teachers and school staff are there for them, always. As Providence, R.I., middle school teacher Anna-Maria Urrutia puts it: “We can no longer just let things go. We have to speak up and stand up for our children and our families.”
First Lady Dr. Jill Biden joins TEACH tomorrow
The AFT is thrilled to announce that First Lady Dr. Jill Biden will address TEACH tomorrow at 12:15 p.m. EDT. Her address, which will be livestreamed on the AFT’s YouTube and Facebook pages, will follow a tour of Payne Elementary School in Washington, D.C., where AFT President Randi Weingarten will join her. The visit illustrates Biden’s trademark enthusiasm for public schools and her efforts to understand educators’ and students’ needs up close and personal, even beyond her own experience as a community college professor. Her address will further outline how the Biden administration is continuing to advocate for more funding and support for public education.
Tweet of the Day
- First Lady Dr. Jill Biden at 12:15 p.m. ET
- Professor Ibram X. Kendi at 6 p.m. ET
- Dozens of uplifting workshops