LIU Special Education Cohort 10 NYC Teaching Fellows sign now

We are dismayed to learn that our Masters program in Special Education at Long Island University in connection with the New York City Teaching Fellows is asking us to spend this July, as we did last year, stuck in classes.

For the past two years we have worked dilligently, many of us in difficult situations, learning how to teach. We learned from our classes, we learned from our colleagues, we learned from our students, and we learned from ourselves. The most important lesson that we have learned is to take care of oneself.

As an educator, particularly a special educator, it is our job to be an advocate--to be the voice of our students. We spend our school year advocating for others--so much so, that many a professor these past two years at LIU has cautioned us to make sure to first take care of ourselves. And so here we are.

The past two school years have been life altering for us and we have learned a great deal in and out of our classrooms about teaching, about ourselves, and about survival. Although non-teachers are quick to point out, we have, as Frank McCourt refers to it, ATTO (All That Time Off), as educators, we know that the summer is really the time where teachers reflect on and refine their practice, recharge for the coming year, and enjoy life experiences that can then be brought into our classrooms. In short, summers are when we get to choose how to make ourselves better educators. Many of us would like the opportunity to explore our options for internships, other fellowships, jobs and other opportunities available to teachers during the summer months.The new contract requires us to report back to our schools before Labor Day, shaving off a few of those priceless days of summer vacation. As you can imagine, the loss of the month of July is even more difficult.

We are aware that the English as a Second Language Fellows were offered the option of a Saturday class during Summer I and we would like to be given the same option. If this option is not viable, we would like to discuss some other type of arrangement that would enable us to have more of the summer we have worked so hard to earn.

Other options may include but are not limited to, a condensed summer session as discussed in earlier emails, or an online class that would require the participants to attend class electronically, not physically.

Please heed our request. We are not opposed to working harder and without complaint should you be willing to help us have the summer to regroup, recharge and apply all we have learned over the two years we have been at LIU to our teaching practice.

Thank you for your consideration.

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Hilary RichardsonBy:
LGTBIn:
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Long Island University- Teaching and Learning Department

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