President's Message: Happy New Year! ¡Feliz Año Nuevo!
Happy New Year! ¡Feliz Año Nuevo! Welcome back to the second half of the 2022-2023 School Year.
A Look Back
Oh what a year it has been! Jacque and I officially began our work leading the Portland Association of Teachers on July 1st, 2022 and PAT has accomplished so much already! Between July 1st and December 16th, our union has:
- Continued advocacy for Middle Schools through “A Call for a Safe and Stable School from PPS Middle School Communities,” adding building-based RJ coordinators to PPS MS
- Hired 2 new OEA Staff members, Ryan Olds and Jessica Nuti
- Added new Executive Board Members, Committee Co-Chairs, and Organizers
- Hosted a PAT table at the Tiger Tiger Community event, reading books and painting faces
- Amended and passed the business item at the Oregon Education Association (OEA) RA to create a Social Worker and Counselor Committee to address concerns specific to their needs (technically this was before July 1st, but was awesome nonetheless)
- Supported Glencoe in pushing back against the District when they tried to go back on their promise to add another classroom teacher (this wasn’t a “rumor” as some PPS leaders stated, we have the receipts)
- Organized around temperatures in schools and filed OSHA complaints, pushing PPS to develop a heat mitigation strategy and plan
- Held our first Community Outreach Drive-Thru Event
- Increased our Social Media Presence
- Had our first of many Community Listening Sessions to discuss Community Schools
- Collaborated with other PPS Unions to fight for Covid Leave protections
- Supported Special Educators with a SpEd Week of Action
- Got Out the Vote: Increased our PAT Voter turnout to 84% of PAT members & 66% of potential PAT Members
- Joined the NEA Strategic Campaign Institute
- Surveyed our Members around Bargaining and began bargaining Article 9
- Met with Head Start Educators, Pre-K educators, TOSAs, Special Educators, and those who support, to better understand their concerns and needs
- Multiple grievances filed by educators and staff, as well as building-based actions to push for safe and supportive schools
- Developed a training calendar for the rest of the year
Held multiple site-based socials where educators could connect and build community
WOW! What a first half of the year! Jacque and I know we would not be able to “lead” all this work without our members’ collective actions and dedication. Thank you to our committee chairs and organizing leads, thank you to every single educator who came to an event or meeting, who listened to a colleague with a need, who opened an email from PAT, who took care of themselves and prioritized their health and safety so they could teach another day. Thank you.
What does 2023 have in store for us? We know we will be heading full on into successor bargaining this year, and we have had many educators give us input on bargaining proposals. We continue to strive for language that provides the maximum benefit to the maximum number of people AND looking at what the highest needs are regardless of the number impacted. The 150-day bargaining clock starts January 10th, and your colleagues have been working hard to prepare for the campaign ahead. Keep wearing your blue on Tuesdays, keep speaking up and sharing out, and keep an eye open for upcoming events and actions. ¡Juntos podemos!
I was reflecting on returning back this January. I have had several former colleagues share that they are exhausted, they are having panic attacks, they are still dealing with the effect of catching COVID this break (COVID isn’t over, y’all! Please mask up!), and several who are just sick and tired of being sick and tired. I heard from educators worried about returning and being able to serve the students in front of them. This system has stretched everyone to the limit, and winter break is often a time to reflect and take stock of what matters.
During this time of reflection and the resetting of expectations, I implore y’all to cultivate some self-compassion: “Instead of mercilessly judging and criticizing yourself for various inadequacies or shortcomings, self-compassion means you are kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings – after all, who ever said you were supposed to be perfect?” -Dr. Kristen Neff, Author of Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself
Self-Compassion is about treating ourselves the way we would that friend; "Instead of just ignoring your pain with a 'stiff upper lip' mentality, you stop to tell yourself 'this is really difficult right now,' how can I comfort and care for myself in this moment?" Self-compassion consists of three components:
- Self-kindness (vs self-judgment): Self-kindness is the act of acknowledging our failures and suffering. Instead of ignoring or punishing ourselves for those failures, we are gentle with ourselves anyway.
- Common humanity (vs. isolation): Common humanity is the act of recognizing you are not alone in what you are feeling and experiencing; "suffering and personal inadequacy is part of the shared human experience".
- Mindfulness (vs. over-identification): It can be tempting to forcefully silence and avoid or over amplify and spiral with those negative thoughts and feelings. "Mindfulness is a non-judgmental, receptive mind state in which one observes thoughts and feelings as they are, without trying to suppress or deny them."
You deserve self-compassion for the simple reason that you exist. You deserve to feel comforted, connected, and balanced. How will you practice self-compassion this year? Remember: Do not run yourself ragged to fit into raggedy systems. Together, we will lift each other up and fight for a radically compassionate system that serves EVERYONE. But first, we need to find that compassion for ourselves as well.
Know Your Contract: PROBATIONARY TEACHER MID-YEAR EVALUATION TIMELINES
Probationary teachers are formally evaluated at least two times during the school year. By the last work day before Winter Break, all probationary teachers should have received their first evaluation report.
This mid-cycle evaluation must be based on at least one formal observation cycle, which requires a pre-observation conference, the observation, and a post-observation conference.
In addition to the formal observation cycle, the mid-year evaluation may include evidence from informal observations, artifacts, assessments, and other evidence collected throughout the first half of the school year.
The mid-cycle formal evaluation requires a Mid-Cycle Summative Evaluation Meeting, separate from the post-observation conference. Prior to that meeting, the evaluator must give the educator a draft of the Mid-Cycle Summative Evaluation Report (Form 5) at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting.
Any rating given in the evaluation report must be based on direct evidence that is written in the evaluation report. Review Article 27 of the PAT/PPS contract and the PPS Handbook for Professional Growth and Evaluation to determine whether the required procedures have been followed regarding your evaluation. Both are available on the PAT website.
If the evaluator has stated that they “DO NOT RECOMMEND” you for continued employment if your performance continues as it is, contact your PAT Rep ASAP. You also have the right to submit a written objection/rebuttal that is attached to the evaluation report in your personnel file if you feel the evaluation was incomplete or unjust. The written objection should normally be made within 30 days of receipt of the evaluation.
PAT Elections: Submit Questions for Eboard Candidates
Please submit a question for PAT Eboard candidates to respond to. Pursuant to Section 2, subsection E of the PAT Nominations and Elections Handbook, members have the opportunity to submit written questions for the Executive Board candidates who are currently running for office. The Nominations and Elections Committee will choose up to 4 member-generated questions to ask candidates to respond to via an optional, electronic questionnaire. PAT members will receive a copy of candidate responses along with the voter pamphlet on February 9, 2023. Please submit your questions via this electronic form by 5:00pm on Wednesday, January 11th, 2023.
Racial Equity Committee
All PAT Members, please fill out this short survey about Black Lives Matter Week Of Action to help our Racial Equity and SJCO Committees with planning and engagement.
Free BIPOC Educators Summit - Saturday, Feb 25th, 9am-5pm at McDaniel HS
"Time to Thrive: Reclaiming our Momentum through Joy and Purpose" with keynote speaker Dr. Bettina Love. Reserve your spot.
Be on the lookout for information on PAT’s Future Educator of Color scholarships in 2023!
The Social Justice Committee and Community Outreach (SJCO) Committee is partnering with External Organizing to expand our relationships with families & community organizations. The more connected we are, the better we understand our mutual needs, which in turn helps us to more effectively support our students and each other. Are you connected to a neighborhood association, political person/organization, a labor partner (union), community organization (faith-based, non-profit, mutual aid, etc) that might be willing to show their support for teachers? Please take a minute and fill out this form or scan the QR code to connect us! Thank you- YOU make our union stronger!
Legislative Committee-Educator for a Day
Host a Legislator to teach in your classroom at Educator for a Day!
On February 3rd and 10th, PAT Legislative Committee will invite members from the Portland Delegation of the Oregon House of Representatives, and the Oregon State Senate. Please consider filling out this form to volunteer to host a Legislator as a guest educator for the day and to share your educator responsibilities. This is a great way to show them the challenges our schools are facing, in hopes they will help us solve them in the upcoming session. It is also an excellent form of outreach and helps maintain ongoing communication with State Leaders.
Upcoming Educator Happy Hour
Upcoming Events: Educator Happy Hour
Join us at Shine Distillery on Williams for an Educator Happy Hour on January 12th from 4:30-6:30 PM. RSVP today!
PAT Trainings at PAT Office-Hold your spot today!
Secrets of a Successful Organizer
- Saturday, January 7th - Secrets of a Successful Organizer Training (10AM-4PM)
- Monday, January 9th- Best Practices of Handling Plans of Assistance (4:30PM-6:30PM)
- Saturday, January 21st- Extensive Building Rep Training- Beginner and Advanced (10AM-4PM)
Racial Equity Trainings
- Thursday, January 26th- Racial Equity Training Part 1 (4:30PM-7PM)
Legislative, History, and Unionism
- Monday, January 30th- Understanding the Attacks on Public Education in Oregon and How We Fight Back (4:30PM-6:30PM at PAT)
See our flyer for more details!
Next Committee Meetings at PAT Office
Advocacy Committee*: January 4th, 4:30-6:30 PM
Membership Committee: January 4th, 4:30-6:30 PM
Internal Organizing: January 5th, 4:30-6:30 PM
Legislative/PAT PAC Committee: January 11th, 4:30-6:30 PM
- IPD Committee: January 11th, 4:30-6:30 PM
External Organizing: January 12th, 4:30-6:30 PM
*Marks closed committees
For all upcoming events, please see the PAT calendar and OEA calendar.