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Teachers on Strike: Not an Easy Experience!

Hello!  Happy Friday!  I'm happy to link up with Andrea from Momfessionals  and Erika from A Little Bit of Everything to tell you about what it's like to be on strike as a teacher in the winter in Massachusetts.

Please note:  All information in italics is from a Boston Globe article from January 30, 2023.


During the pandemic, the mayor offered the teachers a 1 percent raise on the condition that he would make it up to us at our next contract.  I bet you can guess what happened!  The Mayor, School Committee and Union sat down to negotiate for over a year:   Contract talks in Woburn have been ongoing for more than a year between the School Committee and the union, which represents about 500 teachers, nurses, teacher aides, and others.  The Union had us vote on the new contract, and the teachers rejected it.  

The biggest sticking point was the pay for paraprofessionals.  Their base pay was $22,000 per year.  Consequently, we have several opening with people choosing other districts with a base pay of $30,000 or more.

Now the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) gets involved to help resolve the contract issue.  Eventually, we started doing "rolling" work to rule:  each school has a different day to follow the contract to the letter after holding signs outside for 20 minutes. 

Several months pass quickly by with no agreement.  The Union holds a vote on whether or not to strike.  The strike began on Friday, January 27, 2023.

The Strike Begins

On Saturday we all went to the center and picketed.  Here are some students from my school and one of the moms:

Monday through Thursday, the strike continues with no resolution.  However, support from the community continues:  
Educators in Woburn were not alone in their demands during Monday’s strike as students, parents, and other community members joined them in support.

Friday arrives.  There is no resolution.  The temperatures are dangerously cold.  There is a schedule wherein each school has a 30 minute picketing session.  There was also a live press conference in front of the Boston State House.  I volunteered to go because I needed an adventure!  Here the group of teachers from my school (I'm wearing the purple hat!):

Click here to watch a news clip.

Today, Sunday, February 5, 2023, and the contracts are complete, but the Mayor wants us to reimburse the City for the expenses incurred during the strike:  $250,000.  Right now, a return to work agreement is being written and agreed upon by all.  The amount owed was "reduced" to $225,000, and the return to work and the new contract were approved.

Closing thoughts:  Striking is hard work both mentally and physically.  I really missed teaching my students.  The good news is that the paraprofessionals' new salary will be close to $28,000.  Going back to work last week was exhausting for teachers, but our students were definitely happy and full of energy! 

Make sure to check out more great blog posts here!

Happy Dr. MLK Day and Friday Favorites!

Happy Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Weekend! 

Hello!    Today I'm linking up with Erika and Andrea for:

The Pilgrims and Morning Messages

Right now we're learning about the Pilgrims (better late than never!).  I love incorporating academics into my Morning Messages.  Check it out!

MWRA = Massachusetts Water Resources Authority

Our school was so lucky to have a FREE visit from the MWRA!  The kids learned about where the water comes from and where it goes after we use it.  In addition, we learned how all building are attached to a water main.  The project included drawing local building and making sure they were attached to the water main:

What Students Are Supposed To Be Learning in Social Studies

Several years ago I participated in an Atlas project for curriculum development for Social Studies.  I wrote about my experience in my Morning Message the next day:

meaning of the Pledeg of Allegiance

During the professional development, I was noting all this information my third graders were supposed to know. Last week I decided to ask this year's students about the Pledge of Allegiance.  Needless to say, we need to revisit the topic.

I'd love for you to ask your students to see what their answers are ~ especially if they're a bit older.  Next week, I'll be reviewing the Pledge of Allegiance question again!

Story Structure 

Our standards-based report card requires us to assess out students in these two areas:
*Demonstrate an understanding of story structure.
*Determine and summarize important ideas and details of a text.

Click here to get your freebie!

As always, you are the BEST for checking in and visiting the blog today!  Thank you!

Thankful for a Busy November and Delightful Beginning of December!

Hello!  I hope you had a healthy and peaceful Thanksgiving and beginning of December!  Today I am linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals and Erika from A Little Bit of Everything for their weekly Friday Favorites link-up!

New York City Visit Highlights

My sister and I went to New York City the weekend before Thanksgiving (not advisable due to large number of travelers).  We wanted to take a Peloton class together.  Due to technical difficulties, I thought I was on the waitlist for the Saturday class with Jenn Sherman.  My sister got in.  Upon arrival, I learned I was never on the waitlist, and the class was full.  My sister very gallantly gave me her spot because she knew going to a live class was a dream of mine.  

One thing I learned:  it is roasting hot in the studio.  There are lights and no fan.  I do want to go back, and I'll definitely wear shorts!  Check out the pictures of the view from my bike and of us with Jenn Sherman:

It's very exciting to take a live class in the studio.  Of course, I had to pay for the train from Boston, the class fee ($35) and a night in a hotel.  It was definitely an exciting adventure!

By the way, if you are a fellow Peloton rider, please follow me:  Mrs. Watermelon is my screen name!

Macy's Christmas Windows

The train I took went to Penn Station, and everything we went to was within walking distance, including these beautiful Christmas displays at Macy's:


If you are an educator, you can get free access to all of Canva's graphics for your personal use and your students' use.  Read here for more information about Canva for Education!  Every month I created desktop wallpaper (see above example) and other colorful designs.

As always, thank you for visiting the blog!  I'm delighted you came to visit.  Make sure to check out all blogs, too:

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