Below is an entry form our QHST UFT Chapter blog. In a pleasant tone many issues are being discussed that were brought about from the "questionnaire". I am so appreciative for the active role and the ability for our UFT Representative to listen to all the concerns of this staff. Unfortunately due to previous experience, and the responsibility our chapter has as to not slander its members, commenting on the UFT blog is probably not in the best interest of all. This is not a official school blog therefore I encourage the comments here. I personally moderate all the comments that appear on this site. Even philosophically opposed arguments are published. However I will not tolerate slander of my peers in anyway.
The following appeared on our UFT Blog :
"To the staff of QHST:
I’m sure that many of you are aware that last term we lost the following staff members at the Queens High School of Teaching: From Montessori, Matt Wolkowitcz, Tara Riba, Tamara Baranski and Andrea Galeno. From Emerson, Jamie Yost, Andy Sutton and Liz Fichera (originally from Montessori and moved to the Emerson community). We also lost Minerva Zanca, a guidance counselor from the Freire community. It is expected that some people will leave for other reasons than dissatisfaction, but this attrition rate of 12% is rather significant.
Therefore, we thought it was important to investigate the feelings and opinions of the staff. Saying good bye to these staff members was much more upsetting than any questionnaire we could ever produce – whatever the format might be.
As a Chapter Chair, it is my job to investigate issues that are troubling the staff, ask the tough questions, and with the assistance of a consultative team and the staff, develop a plan to make the Queens High School of Teaching the best it can be. The statements were provocative in their wording, but they were not unfair. There were many options – people could leave it blank, agree or disagree, answer only what they thought would be helpful, or toss the sheet in the waste basket. The purpose, then, was to get your opinions and discuss some of the issues that people have been addressing to me. Last year, one of our colleagues said to me, “Mike, I’m always shut down in my SLC meeting, and my opinion is not appreciated.”
I’m also aware that the questionnaire did not target the needs and concerns of the para-professionals or the secretaries. I will produce a sheet for the secretaries to voice their concerns and Kathleen Grantz, who did not take part in the teacher questionnaire, will reach out to the para-professionals.I do not have all the questionnaires at this time, so I do not have the results for you. A cursory investigation reveals that the real work will be unifying our fragmented staff. The questionnaire was not meant to – as one staff member suggested – divide us. It did, however, reveal that our staff has been divided for some time and that we need to develop a plan to make the QHST a unified chapter.
Without that unity we will struggle with a kind of quiet anxiety that saps our energy and ultimately affects our teaching practice. With a unified chapter, where everyone is able to voice an opinion, we may significantly reduce the need to bid farewell to our valued colleagues."
I would love to hear any and all concerns.