Friday, June 23, 2023
A Message from Linda Waldbaum Newsletter Editor
As the school year comes to a close, we as teachers often reflect upon our performance in the classroom. How did our students do? What did we, as their teachers, do well and what could we do better? This reflection enables us to be better teachers and maintain our strength as educators. It is equally important as union members to ask ourselves those same questions. How did our union do? What did we, as union members, do well and what could we do better?
After taking some time to reflect on these questions myself, I am confident in saying our union is very strong, and we remain an important part of the fabric which makes up the Plainedge community. We celebrate our students’ success by honoring them in the We Make A Difference Award ceremony. We run fundraisers, such as the Wizards basketball game and Adventureland, as well as make raffle baskets for Plainedge Pride Day, all to provide scholarships to graduating Plainedge seniors. We attend the Festival of Lights held at the beginning of December and hand out gifts from the PFT to the children who attend. We, the PFT, have shown how much we love this community through our organization and participation in community events.
In addition to supporting events in Plainedge, we also help other union members. Back in April, many PFT members came out in the rain to support the Lawrence Teachers Association as they rallied for a fair contract. Some of our PFT members may recall working two years without a contract; it's hard to imagine going twelve years without one! Closer to home, our union truly showed their solidarity toward a fellow PFT member, Debbie Daring, by donating sick days so that she could retire in June. It was one of the most heartfelt moments as a PFT member. This is what it means to be in the PFT family.
As union members, it is equally important to be a part of the decisions being made that influence our schools and jobs. We did this by making budget phone calls, attending BOE meetings and endorsing pro-education, pro-union, pro-teacher BOE candidates. We also contributed to Vote-Cope to help fund all of these efforts.
So to answer the first question - How did our union do? We did amazingly well! Thank you to each and everyone of you who actively participated. Our union is made up of our members, and our strength comes from you. The time and effort you decide to contribute to our union endeavors makes our union strong. While the above events are organized by our union leadership, it is the participation of our membership that makes these events a success. So to every union member who actively participated, thank you! As for the last two questions - What did we, as union members, do well and what could we do better? Those answers must come from each member. What will you continue to do next year and what can you do better? This reflection will enable our union to maintain its strength in the years to come.
On behalf of the entire PFT leadership team, we wish all our members and their families a very happy and healthy summer vacation! In solidarity.