#AFTVoices

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#AFTVoices Member Spotlight Series

#AFTVoices is proud to present, Erin Sutton! This series aims to uplift the voices, members, staff and educators that make up AFT Massachusetts.

Erin is the Secondary Art Teacher of the Year, working at Lynn Classical High School. 

"I value the union as a way for educators to be seen as professionals who are skilled in their craft. We need to be giving educators more of a voice in how they’re school days go and how they run their classrooms. Educators work incredibly hard to advocate for students, providing them the best education possible. That's best done when educators and staff are empowered."

#AFTVoices Member Spotlight Series

#AFTVoices is proud to present, Narly Bedoya!

This series aims to uplift the voices, members, staff and educators that make up AFT Massachusetts. Narly is a 5th grade Special Education Paraprofessional and Chair of the Negotiations Team for the Springfield Federation of Paraprofessionals. ​​​​​​​"We're fighting for a wage increase because we simply aren't making enough. If para's have to have a couple of jobs to make ends meet, but we're exhausted for our students and families, who is that serving?"

#AFTVoices Member Spotlight Series

#AFTVoices is proud to present, Aamina Mian!

This series aims to uplift the voices, members, staff and educators that make up AFT Massachusetts. Aamina has been a Paraprofessional at Chelmsford High School for over 20 years. "In my 23, years I’ve seen thousands of kids come through. It is my job to work as a teammate with the teacher, parents and student to set up everyone for success. For me to succeed though, I need to be seen as an equal and worthy of a living wage."

#AFTVoices Member Spotlight Series

#AFTVoices is proud to present, Joshua Botvin!

This series aims to uplift the voices, members, staff and educators that make up AFT Massachusetts. This week we're highlighting Joshua, Lecturer in English at UMass Dartmouth and Assistant Director of the Writing and Multi-literacy Center! Josh knew almost immediately that he wanted to be an educator. Josh also knew that if he wanted to stay in this field for the long haul, he had to be a part of the union. "Being in the union and taking collective action directly improves the relationship between teachers and students. When teachers aren't splitting time across campuses and multiple jobs, because they have security and earning fair wages, students absolutely benefit." #FreedomToThrive!

#AFTVoices Member Spotlight Series

#AFTVoices is proud to present, Massachusetts Teacher of the Year, Marta Garcia!

Marta is a Multi-Lingual Learner Teacher at Witchcraft Heights Elementary, with a deep understanding of what it takes to support her students. This series aims to uplift the voices, members, staff and educators that make up AFT Massachusetts. For years, Marta has fought to build a welcoming and safe environment for her students, as well as supporting other educators in meeting multi-language learning students where they're at. "We can't forget that these students are having to survive a whole world many of us do not even know exists. If we want everyone to succeed, students and educators, we need to be trained. That's what I'm passionate about." #FreedomToThrive!

#AFTVoices: Chelsea Teachers Walk In Together, Demanding Better for Students

It’s no secret that Massachusetts has been hit hard by COVID, but for low-income and communities of color, it’s been particularly damaging. For Chelsea teachers, one of Massachusetts poorest communities, they’ve been ringing the crisis alarm for decades. We sat down and spoke with Kathryn Anderson, President of the Chelsea Teachers’ Union, about historical lack of investment and what a new flush of $40M could mean for students and educators.. 

“Chelsea was hit hard by COVID,” said Anderson. “It was only made worse because our community as a whole has been underserved, underfunded, and underemployed.” Local school districts have become a magnifying glass for the intersection between community, young people, and educational workers. Anderson adds, “it’s not just about all these things coming together, but it tells the story of what districts have been going through for a very long time.” Chelsea has endured drastic budget cuts for decades, leaving educators and students worse for the wear. “The biggest pressure we’ve seen is increasing class sizes and community pressures. Nearly half of our student population have experienced a food and /or housing crisis and over 80% of our community has lost income or had a major health crisis.” 

#AFTVoices Member Spotlight Series

☀️ #AFTVoices is proud to present, Katrina Donovan! ☀️

This series aims to uplift the voices, members, staff and educators that make up AFT Massachusetts. This week we're highlighting Katrina, Children's Librarian and Winthrop Public Library and Museum! Katrina has fought hard for herself, her library and folks like her. "Mobilizing the moms I knew is how I fought to save our library."

Stay tuned as we continue to display more conversations from AFT MA members! #FreedomToThrive!

#AFTVoices Member Spotlight Series

☀️ #AFTVoices is proud to present, Rosalinda Midence! ☀️

This series aims to uplift the voices, members, staff and educators that make up AFT Massachusetts. This week we're highlighting Rosalinda, Student Support Coordinator at Boston Day and Evening Academy with the Boston Teachers Union! Being the daughter of a teenage, immigrant mother from central America, Rosalinda knows the power of a strong network. "I was influenced by an empowering teacher and JT, my bus driver. JT would ask my mom if I had breakfast and it showed that it takes a village to care for young people. This is what propelled me to get into education. I knew I was cared for by an entire network."  

#AFTVoices Member Benefits Spotlight Series

#AFTVoices is proud to present, Jezabel Muhammad!

This series aims to uplift the voices, members, staff, educators and paraprofessionals that make up AFT Massachusetts. This week we're highlighting Jezabel, a member organizer and small group paraprofessional with New Bedford Public Schools! Eager to get back into the classroom, Jezabel is driven to support the entire classroom to succeed.

#AFTVoices Member Spotlight Series

☀️ #AFTVoices is proud to present, Laura Sanchez! ☀️

This series aims to uplift the voices, members, staff and educators that make up AFT Massachusetts. This week we're highlighting Laura, a school social worker and clinical director from the Lynn Teachers Union! Even before the pandemic, Laura was ringing the alarms about the mental health crisis of our students, teachers, staff and paraprofessionals. Now, as our communities face economic, housing, and food crisis', she is motivated more than ever to provide the support needed to weather the storm.