Monday, November 24, 2014

Gus Morales Back in the Classroom

Gus Morales

In a victory for activism and members' rights to speak their minds about important education policies, Holyoke Teachers Association President Gus Morales was back at work on Monday, Nov. 24. He was reinstated as a teacher after the HTA and Holyoke Public Schools reached a settlement in a case concerning protected speech. For more on the agreement, go 

The case stemmed from the district's decision to non-renew Morales at the end of last school year. The HTA filed a charge with the Department of Labor Relations contending that the non-renewal was retaliatory. The DLR issued a complaint noting that Morales received negative evaluations only after he became active in the HTA and began criticizing certain district policies, such as the decision to post student assessment results on publicly available "data walls."
Morales was assisted by members of MTA's legal, affiliate services and communications divisions. To help other members who have questions about their rights, MTA's Legal Division recently issued guidance on when your speech may be protected and when it may not. Although this memorandum specifically addresses speech related to discussing opting out of testing requirements, it offers guidance on the broader issue of protected speech. This guidance is posted here in the members' area of our website. Please note that you will need your user name and password to log in.

Congratulations to New Bedford's Kyleigh Barao - MIAA Division 1 State Title Winner

Coach Koby Verran - New Bedford High School student Kyleigh Barao. 

Kyleigh won the 100 yard butterfly with a time of 59:94 and broke the New Bedford High School record set 10 years ago.

Friday, November 21, 2014

NBEA Holiday Party

Century House has extended the notification deadline for the NBEA Holiday Party
Tuesday, December 2, 2014

 Please confirm that you are attending as soon as possible.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear

The charter express bears down on the Bay State…
objectsIt’s math time, reader, and today’s problem is an excellent one. Ready? What do you get when you subtract 1,001,279 from 1,041,640? If you answered *38,000 and change,* or *the margin by which the new governor of Massachusetts, Charles Duane Baker, Jr., swept into office,* you would be technically right. But these are bold new days and we are thinking big, bold thoughts, which means that the correct answer is *a bold mandate to replace all of our old failed and failing schools with Excellent New Schools.*   more

School Committees Stand Against Flood of Mandates, Tests ...... Citizens for Public Schools

Members of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees took a strong stand against the rising flood of state mandates at their annual conference earlier this month. They passed, almost unanimously, a resolution asking the state to "refrain from adding new mandates including new tests and other initiatives and to revisit the mandates already imposed on districts with a view to reducing interference with classroom instruction, thus allowing educators to do their work."

In another resolution, MASC called on the state to rethink Common Core and PARCC and to "substantially involve educators and school committee members" in re-examining the state's evaluation and accountability system.
Several dinner meeting speakers blasted the current obsession with test scores. CPS presented a workshop on the Less Testing, More Learning campaign attended by more than 50 school committee members and superintendents.   

Charter schools do not measure up to the hype ... By Bruce C. Ditata

In Sephira Shuttlesworth’s Guest View ("Charter Schools Represent Opportunity, Nov. 10”) she offered a heartfelt tribute to her late husband, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, a pioneer in the Civil Rights movement. However, in her quantum leap to education reform-equating support for charter schools with civil rights — Shuttleworth’s words bear the ring of empty rhetoric.

Her position, oft-repeated in the born again education reform camp, is that “charter schools are doing more to close race and poverty-based achievement gaps than any other groups in the country.”

Such a pronouncement, typical fodder by those supporting for-profit outfits like SABIS School Network- with whom Shuttlesworth is affiliated — has arrived after their brand has suffered a setback. In this instance it was the Massachusetts General Court’s rejection of legislation to raise the statewide cap on charters.

Elected officials might, indeed, have cowered “in the face of entrenched resistance from teachers’ unions and the education establishment,”as Shuttleworth maintains. Or the track record of charters, including the squeezing out of high percentages of their recruits long before graduation, simply, was not credible in the eyes of lawmakers.

The rejection of the SABIS School Network by the city of Brockton, also, drew the ire of Shuttlesworth.

“…Despite the fact that Brockton doesn’t have a single charter and is among the lowest-performing districts in Massachusetts (the Brockton charter proposal) was again rejected,… (and) the opposition was led by, powerful, well-funded special interest groups.”

Who are the “education establishment” and the “powerful, well-funded special interest groups?” These culprits, according to Shuttlesworth, are blocking the schoolhouse doors to progress. No specific groups in her guest view are named besides teachers unions. And It is unlikely that a lifetime of sponsoring bake sales or paying union dues could ever trump the funding provided to private charter schools (like SABIS) from the Billionaire Boys Club of the Koch brothers, Eli Broad, Bill Gates, et al.

So what says the city of Brockton about why the SABIS Model was turned away?

In an article by Nancy Bloom on the Edushyster website entitled “Straight Outta Brockton,” she wrote: “Brockton is home to one of the best large, urban high schools in the country. People from all corners of this large city seemed to take pride in telling the board of education members that their school system is doing an extraordinary job of educating all of Brockton’s students, and that SABIS, which has made two previous attempts at establishing a charter here isn’t wanted or needed.”

Bloom went on to report that, “SABIS supporters at the hearing claimed bragging rights over their flagship school in Springfield, with its comparative high test scores. Like most charter schools, SABIS’ record on educating English Language Learners can not compare to Brockton’s. While 25 percent of students in Brockton are ELL, a mere 4 percent of students at the SABIS Springfield are learning English.”

Is Brockton, as Shuttlesworth alleges, a city among the lowest performing school districts in Massachusetts? According to the mantra of Shuttlesworth, the moral litmus test is “when confronting injustice, truth is supposed to be the best light.”

And truth be told, In 2014 Brockton's median student growth percentiles were above the state average for both math (52) and ELA (54). 

So where does that leave Shuttlesworth and media shills like the Boston Globe, in referencing Brockton which stated in an editorial, “SABIS students in Springfield consistently outperform peers (read:ELL students) from similar backgrounds in their home districts.” 

Globe editorial writer, Lawrence Harmon, sums up the next move succinctly.

“Charter school opponents are sure to go on the march now that they have tasted victory in Brockton. Expect to see a slew of anti-charter school bills introduced in the legislature.” 

Whereupon, the legislators will either cower at the feet of teachers unions or understand the truth that charter schools do not measure up to the hype. 

Bruce C. Ditata 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


One need not look any further than the nightly news to see the attack on teachers and the spread of the alarming view that somehow the tenure they earn is the very impediment that keeps children from achieving enlightenment in the classroom. Just look at a recent article by TIME magazine ( depicting teachers as the Rotten Apples responsible for a crippled Public Education system. Or perhaps read the New York Post article ( where it is declared that "tenure is being given out like candy". 

Even ‘The Simpsons’ has joined in the barrage of insults aimed at teachers and teachers' unions. Last night's episode asserted that the bad teachers could not be fired because "they'd earned tenure after just two short years". The episode went on to suggest that the profession is littered with incompetent sociopaths that can't be fired.

And yet, when you read the following article (, you'll be given some jarring statistics about how many leave the profession in the first year. Mind you, to become a teacher you have to get your degree, take a bunch of ridiculous tests that bear little in assessing pedagogy, obtain licensure through the bureaucracy of some department of education, keep up with nonsensical "professional development", survive an onslaught of mandate after exhausting mandate, and to top it all off, deal with a world that seemingly hates your very existence. 

After all of that, many teachers, young and old alike (rookie/veteran if you please), are leaving due to overload, abuse, mistreatment, disrespect, and an intolerable stress level. I'll ask anyone reading this to ponder: if, in fact, tenure is the obstacle that stands in the way of children across the country learning at high levels, where then is the body of research to support such an assertion? 

One would think that if tenure keeps kids from making progress, then surely all the public school systems in the country that have stripped teachers of due process should be outperforming those school systems with Terrible Tenured Teachers. As a country, we are at a crossroads. We must decide if we care about all children or just those of the elite and rich. Because if we do care about children and their education, we must protect the teachers. 

Teachers working conditions are students learning conditions. The two cannot be separated. Teachers who suffer on a daily basis will have students who are deprived of a solid education. If we are to truly embark on a road to recovery where we put the child before the money, why not start by taking care of the teachers who stand before the children.

The effect of parental incompetence on education ... By Benjamin Demille

Dear Mitchell Chester,

The title kind of says it all.

There are an impressive number of bad parents in America.  There are parents who genuinely believe that infants cry at night just to "piss off" their parents.  (Yes, I actually heard a young mother in Fitchburg make this claim about her newborn.)  There are parents who believe that alcohol is a food group and that reading a book is a loathsome task never to be undertaken again after leaving school.  There are parents who believe that brutalizing and terrorizing other people's children is their child's God given right, and that fear is equivalent to respect.

Bad parents and their violent progeny have an overwhelmingly detrimental effect upon the effectiveness of America's education system and upon the subsequent behavior of individual victims that public officials, elected or otherwise have consistently refused to acknowledge.

Your recent effort to ruin the careers of thousands of teachers by tying their licensure to their evaluations is a good example of how far public officials are willing to go in order to avoid acknowledging the seriousness of parental incompetence and to redirect the public's attention away from the real source of our problems.

Here's your homework question:

Will anyone in a position of authority be acknowledging this problem before the next Oklahoma City, Columbine, or Sandy Hook reminds everyone of the cost of denial?


Benjamin Demille

This letter was sent to Commissioner Mitchell Chester, the Board of Education, and The Boston Globe.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Malden and Bridgewater events canceled

We fought back! We won!

Last Friday, DESE agreed to withdraw all plans to link your license to your evaluation. Today, DESE canceled the Malden Town Hall forum on licensure and is likely to cancel the one in Bridgewater. The MTA is therefore CANCELING all collective member actions related to the Town Halls in Malden and Bridgewater. (If the Bridgewater event is not canceled, we will have members inside the event asking tough questions and speaking their minds.)

We won because you spoke out against these ill-conceived proposals – and were preparing to turn out in big numbers at the Town Hall events. Take time to recharge your batteries because there will be more fights to come.

What did we learn? Here are some of our thoughts. We will be curious to hear yours.  

We need to fight in order to win. Even if we fight we may not always win, but if we don’t fight we can’t win.

We won because members acted. We in leadership provided you with ways to act, and our field reps, communications and research operations helped arm us with the information and arguments we needed. But it was member power that turned the tide. Mitchell Chester told The Boston Globe that “99.99 percent” of the feedback was critical of DESE’s proposal.

We have to move quickly and forcefully. It has been less than a month since DESE leaders unveiled their proposal and we’ve already won (at least round one). They were shocked at the response. They aren’t used to us fighting. If we had taken months to gear up we would have had a much harder time mobilizing members, and a harder time winning. We need to continue to connect with each other, talk in our buildings and strengthen the relationships that will allow us to respond even more quickly and forcefully next time –because we all know there will be a next time, if not on licensure then on other issues.

We won because of our solidarity. This time solidarity was easy. DESE was going after all of us. Next time the attack might hit some members earlier and harder than it hits others, and some members might think they can escape. As a union, we have to support each other and not let them pick off the most vulnerable, whether the issue is charter schools, or Level 4 and 5 schools, or ESPs, or adjuncts.  

It ain't over even when it's over. We have to stay vigilant. We’ve killed this proposal for now, but it won’t be a surprise if an effort is made to bring back some modified version. The forces going after educators, unions, and public education won’t let up – and neither can we.

In solidarity,

Barbara and Janet

Friday, November 14, 2014

MTA members show union power; DESE rescinds proposals linking licensure to educator evaluation

We did it! In recent days, thousands of you have contacted state education officials to express your opposition to linking your license to your evaluation. MTA members sent e-mails, spoke out at DESE’s “town halls,” organized building meetings and made plans to attend upcoming DESE meetings in Malden and Bridgewater.

Today, the commissioner of education released a letter that says: “… we are rescinding the draft options that link licensure to educator evaluation.”

Our message — Union Strong — is making a difference.

While the immediate threat is lifted, there is much more to be done to make sure state officials hear what educators think we and our students need.

Here's the background on the licensure story.

Twenty-five days ago, MTA received notice of licensure changes proposed by DESE that would connect performance evaluation to license renewal and advancement. These proposals and the fa├žade of voice given within the DESE “town halls” exposed the deep disconnect between educators and the department. Union members spoke out resoundingly. Several members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education joined us in telling the commissioner they opposed this licensure plan.

The decision announced today is a good start, but other aspects of proposed licensure changes are still unsettled, and the disconnect between educators and DESE remains.

The commissioner has invited us to “continue the conversation.” Let’s do just that by showing up in Malden on Nov. 19 and Bridgewater on Nov. 20 to tell our stories, speak our truth, and reclaim public education.

Here are the details of the meetings next week:

DESE-sponsored Town Hall on Licensure

Thursday, November 20
4:30-7 p.m. (arrive at 4:15 p.m.)
Bridgewater State University
Crimson Hall – Dunn Conference Room
200 East Campus Drive

Even as we move forward with our plans to make our voices heard, this is a moment to celebrate our strength and acknowledge the hard work of our members on this crucial issue. So thank you, and let’s keep up the fight!

NB Teachers Holding Their Own In Evaluation Ratings .... WBSM

"Seven percent of New Bedford’s teachers were rated exemplary, 82% were proficient, 8.3% were judged to need improvement, and 2.8% were rated unsatisfactory. Those ratings were slightly below the statewide averages." - WBSM

Read More: NB Teachers Holding Their Own In Evaluation Ratings |

Monday, November 10, 2014

What can you do to prevent licensure tied to evaluation?

Performance-based Licensure
The MTA is turning up the heat in fighting DESE’s “performance-based” licensure proposals. If you haven’t already sent an email to state education officials expressing your opposition to this plan, please click here and do so TODAY.
This past weekend, the MTA Board of Directors voted 52-1 to reaffirm MTA’s clear opposition the various policy options DESE is considering to tie your license advancement and renewal to your local evaluation or your students’ test scores.

In addition to the emails, we are organizing a strong presence at the DESE “town halls” on this issue in Malden on Nov. 19 and Bridgewater on Nov. 20. For those who can, please join us to show our union strength and send a clear message to DESE about these plans: NONE OF THE ABOVE!

The commissioner has received more than 5,000 email messages about his proposals already. Let's double that!

Attend a DESE “Town Hall meeting” Wed. November 19th4:30 – 7:00 p.m., Malden High School

Attend a DESE “Town Hall meeting” Thur. November 20th4:30 – 7:00 p.m., Bridgewater State University

2014 New England Marching Band Championships 11-09-14


Sunday, November 9, 2014

MTA Ethnic Minorities Affairs Committee 35th Anniversary Conference


All MTA members are invited to this year’s Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee (EMAC) 35th Anniversary Conference. Standing on a Great Foundation is the theme of this year’s conference, which begins Friday, December 5th.
New this year is a free interactive workshop, The Skin that We Speak: Exploring Culture and Language in the Classroom and Beyond, presented by Beau Stubblefield-Tave, a principal in the Center for Cultural Fluency. This “Bridge” workshop links the Just For New Teachers (JFNT) 13th Annual Conference to the EMAC Conference.
This year’s special honoree is Louise Gaskins, who was instrumental in establishing MTA’s Minority Affairs Committee — the forerunner of EMAC — as well as the Human and Civil Rights Council and MTA’s Minority Involvement Plan. Over the years, Gaskins became a leading spokesperson for minority affairs at the MTA, and she is still active today.
This will be a memorable 35th anniversary celebration!

: Friday-Saturday, December 5-6, 2014

LOCATION: Sheraton Four Points, 1125 Boston Providence Turnpike, Norwood, MA

WHO CAN ATTEND: All MTA members are invited to this year’s EMAC Conference. Those attending the Just For New Teachers Conference are issued a special invitation. Members of the Student Education Association of Massachusetts (SEAM), are also invited to attend at no charge.

HOTEL RESERVATIONS: If you haven't booked your hotel room, please make your reservations immediately.  The number of reduced rate rooms is limited and must be made by 5pm on Friday, November 14th.  For more information,RESERVE HOTEL ROOM.

EVENT SUMMARY:  Workshop descriptions, presenters, fees, and more. 

Just For New Teachers 13th Annual Conference


MTA’s Just For New Teachers 13th Annual Conference presents the perfect opportunity to meet with fellow educators. This one-day conference, brought to you by MTA’s New Member Committee, will offer workshops on classroom management and instruction, teaching English language learners and legal basics.


New this year is a free interactive workshop, The Skin that We Speak: Exploring Culture and Language in the Classroom and Beyond, presented by Beau Stubblefield-Tave, a principal in the Center for Cultural Fluency. This “bridge” workshop links the JFNT Conference to this year’s EMAC conference, which will celebrate the Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee’s 35th anniversary.


DATE: Friday, December 5, 2014


LOCATION: Sheraton Four Points, 1125 Boston Providence Turnpike, Norwood, MA


WHO CAN ATTEND: The  Just for New Teachers Conference is open to MTA teachers in their first four years of practice. The fee is $65. Members of the Student Education Association of Massachusetts (SEAM), are invited to attend at no charge.


For more information, please visit

Thursday, November 6, 2014

CURMUDGUCATION: MA Committed to Chasing Teachers Away

CURMUDGUCATION: MA Committed to Chasing Teachers Away: It seems that several states are locked in a contest to determine who can do the most to undermine and gut the teaching profession. From Flo...


Many thanks to all of you who took part in the democratic process and voted yesterday. And a special thank you to those who also participated in communicating with members about the election, volunteered and fully engaged in the electoral process.

Although most MTA-supported candidates won, our choice for governor did not. I know many of us are disheartened by this result. But whether it was to be Martha Coakley or Charlie Baker in the corner office, our work as a union remains the same. We need to be informed. We need to identify the issues that matter to us and organize to fight for them. We need to support one another in our schools, in our locals, on our campuses and across the state. We need to grow and deepen alliances. We need to educate, agitate and organize. 
There is much work to do, but together we can increase union solidarity and strength. Here are some efforts underway. 

Two weeks ago, DESE came out with outrageous "policy options" to connect your license to teach with - guess what - your evaluation or your students' test scores. Within 72 hours of hearing from us about this issue, more than 3,000 of you had sent e-mails to Commissioner Mitchell Chester and the members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. We certainly got their attention! Since we had gotten our point across to BESE members - several of whom share our views - we limited the recipient list on Monday to Chester, Associate Commissioner Heather Peske and BESE's testimony intake address. If you haven't sent your e-mail yet, please click here and send it today. Keep up the heat. 
Meanwhile, we are planning to turn members out for DESE's "town hall" events on this issue. There will be one in Malden on Nov. 19 and one in Bridgewater on Nov. 20. Please contact your local association president for details if you would like to participate.

On the charter issue, we are organizing members to testify at a hearing tonight in Malden against BESE members bending their own rules to allow a charter school to open in Brockton this year. Brockton educators will be coming up by bus to make their voices heard. Other members will be supporting them in person or with a postcard campaign. We will keep you posted if other actions are planned.

Starting later this month, there will be hearings on the foundation budget. We will be asking members to participate to let the Foundation Budget Review Commission, on which I serve, know what resources you need in order to provide your students with the schools they deserve. I will send you more information about this in my next e-mail, and it will be posted on our website.

We are taking these and other actions under a Democratic governor. And we certainly aren't going to stop when the newly elected governor takes office. If anything, we will need to redouble our efforts to make sure policymakers hear from us and attend to our members' views on behalf of students, educators, our communities and our values.
It's hard work, but we are up to the challenge of organizing for a better future. One of our staff created a meme with a message that I truly believe: "THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE IS STRONGER THAN THE PEOPLE IN POWER. DON'T MOURN, ORGANIZE."

In solidarity, and in anticipation of many great things ahead,


The story behind the Brockton charter school waiver

The MTA is asking the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to deny a waiver request that could allow the New Heights Charter School to open in Brockton this year. If the charter application is allowed to go forward, the MTA will once again join the Brockton Education Association and the Brockton Public Schools, as well as many parents and elected officials in Brockton, in asking the board to deny the application.

Background. Earlier this year, BESE adopted policies to bring the charter authorization process in line with the 2010 Achievement Gap Act. That law emphasizes three key policies relevant to this debate:

·                     DESE must take student growth (i.e., MCAS student growth percentiles), not just achievement (i.e., absolute score levels on the MCAS), into consideration in school accountability ratings.

·                     DESE must use a similar approach for calculating which districts have student performance in the bottom 10 percent.

·                     DESE staff determined that the first two applicants in any year have to be in districts whose students were in the bottom 10 percent.

Why include “growth”? The argument for including growth measures was that achievement scores are closely correlated with socioeconomic status. To put it simply, on average, poor children don’t do as well as more affluent children on standardized tests. Districts with low-income students argued that they shouldn’t be penalized simply for educating poor children; they should be given some relief from burdensome mandates if their student growth rates are strong.

How do charter schools hurt these districts? One “penalty” most districts want to avoid is being forced to accept and pay for a charter school against the will of a majority of the elected officials and taxpayers in a community. The negative impacts of a charter school include:

·         Financial: After an initial reimbursement period, the charter school drains money from district schools.
·         Uneven playing field: Most charter schools use enrollment practices that keep them from serving as many special needs students, English language learners and low-income students as the sending districts.
·         Undermines local control: Once a charter is authorized by the state, decisions about how children will be educated there are taken away from local elected officials and are given to an unelected board, with oversight by state officials.

In short, when a Commonwealth charter school comes to town, districts have to serve a higher-need population with fewer resources.

DESE adopts new formula. DESE implemented a new achievement-plus-growth formula for school accountability purposes in 2011, initially choosing a ratio of 80 percent achievement to 20 percent growth. This year, DESE began the process of taking the same approach in calculating the bottom 10 percent of districts for purposes of meeting the new charter school requirements. DESE determined that the ratio should be the same for both school accountability and for determining the bottom 10 percent of districts, and revisited what that ratio should be. In the course of that debate, some argued that growth should be given even more weight, such as a 70/30 split. Others, including leaders of the charter school industry, argued that the calculation should be based 100 percent on achievement. After much debate, BESE approved a revised split of 75/25.

2014 charter applicants affected. Meanwhile, the charter application process was moving forward on a separate track and DESE advanced just two applications: one for the New Heights Charter School in Brockton and the other for a regional school to be based in Fitchburg. In early October, DESE staff realized that neither Brockton nor, collectively, the Fitchburg regional districts were in the bottom 10 percent. Their growth scores elevated them out of that pool. (Indeed, they would have been out of the bottom 10 percent based on the 80/20 split as well as the 75/25 split that was ultimately adopted.) DESE staff told the applicants they couldn’t move forward this year because the first two of any new charters approved in a given year must be located in districts in the bottom 10 percent.

Waivers filed. Both applicants filed for a waiver, saying they should be allowed to proceed. The Fitchburg applicant subsequently followed a different route, changing the makeup of the districts to be included in the regional pool to create a new configuration of districts that falls into the bottom 10 percent. With that change, the Fitchburg applicants were told they could proceed and the waiver request was dropped. The Brockton applicant is proceeding with the waiver request.

Hearing set. On Oct. 30, DESE set a date of Nov. 5 for a hearing on the New Heights Charter School waiver. The MTA is opposing that request based on a belief that the intent of the Legislature was to disfavor locating charter schools in districts, such as Brockton, that have worked very hard to provide their students with a high-quality education even in the face of high poverty and limited school resources and that are, in fact, showing improvement. If the application is allowed to go forward, the MTA will join the BEA and others in publicizing the many innovative and effective programs Brockton has implemented, and will show how those efforts would be undermined by locating a charter school in that community.

Produced by the Massachusetts Teachers Association, November 3, 2014

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Blue Cross/Blue Shield Health Insurance Updates

What is a teacher? .... By Eddie L. Johnson.

As a child who grew up in the deep south, Augusta, Ga., during the 1950s and '60s, and as a student participant in the U.S. Supreme Court educational experiment of Brown v. Board of Education so brilliantly argued by former NAACP General Counsel and the first black to serve on the United States Supreme Court, the Honorable Thurgood Marshall, I am now, always have been and will be both a worshiper and supporter of public school teachers. 

The most important and influential people in any child's life, development and educational achievements are their parents, the child, and his or her teachers, from daycare through completion of elementary, middle, high school and institutions of higher learning.

One of the most noble profession in the world is that of a teacher.

My parents and I were always awed with esteem and reverence, that is often captured in those students who appreciate and respond to the dedication and sacrifices made often and daily by excellent teachers.

I urge you to pay close attention to the words and thoughts of your children regarding their teachers. You will see a practical and superior depth of experience that has made, and continues to make, a difference in the academic life and behavior of your child. I did.

All qualified teachers in any classroom can be the difference between the students' academic life or death, because the students' future depends so desperately on the quality of their education.

What is A Teacher?

A teacher is the hero and steward in our children's learning lives.

A teacher possesses the knowledge, technical skills, and the academic grace that we all love and admire.

A teacher cares for our children in every possible and imaginable way.

A teacher is the greatest symbol of education and learning.

A teacher is the leader for learners and an inspiration and miracle on the educational journey.

A teacher is our champion, and captain of our educational ship and journey to achievement and success.

A teacher must have courage, and the support of parents, school administration, community and elected school committee, and become all our heroic examples and inspirations.

If you are successful in any endeavor in life, always remember to thank your teachers, as they are responsible for educating us all with their skills and knowledge.

Teachers are smart with uplifted spirits, and teachers can make our brains work like computers, while holding students' hands and guiding them when they need it.

All parents in SouthCoast, especially New Bedford, please remember that teachers reach to the heavens, to get what your child needs, and exit a subject just at the right time.

Teachers are a class act and class struggle, in assisting in the liberation of students' minds, souls and spirits, by believing in our children, reaching out to students, and instilling pride and hope in all of us.

Education is important to all of our teachers.

Respect and support with pride our children's teachers, who struggle hard daily to teach each and every student, checking assignments and exams after school, explaining things so they are easier, reading to students or teaching students how to read.

We should thank them today, tomorrow and always for everything our teachers do.