As August starts to wind down, I know some of us are already mentally preparing for the school year, while others of us are making the most of every bit of the rest of summer. Whichever category you fall into I know that you feel the 2018-2019 school year fast approaching. Students will be showing up excited to meet you and to figure out what challenges lie ahead for them. I know we are deeply committed to, and take pride in, delivering an excellent education to all our students. I am happy that we are planning to start this school year with a celebration in October of the chartering of the FFT. In this post-JANUS era it's great to be able to celebrate what teachers years ago started, and honor their commitment to supporting and protecting each other. We need you at the celebration on October 10th, so make sure you are there to show your commitment to their hard work as well as yours. Our profession and our union is better because of what YOU contribute to it.
I also would like for us to show a proper FFT welcome to the approximately 20 new teachers and leave replacements that will be joining us as FFT members this school year. Think back to your first year in Farmingdale and what it is that could be an encouraging word or piece of friendly advice that could make a difference to them. Share with them how their participation in the union is what makes the union work. Tell them that as professional educators we strive every day to understand the needs of our students and their families. We know from experience what it takes to help our students achieve. We are the experts. Be proud to tell them that we are union strong, that we active in local, state, and federal political action. Let them know the FFT contributes to community groups, organizes food drives, participates in breast cancer walks, hosts senior citizens at school drama productions, supports parents' right to opt children out of stat testing, wear red to support public ed and so much more. Remind them that we are a community and we support each other, especially during difficult times. I'm proud as your FFT president to represent you all.
I look forward to greeting you on September 4th at our annual General Membership Meeting at 7:15am at the High School Auditorium. See you then!