Randi shares a secret

It’s hard to imagine AFT President Randi Weingarten was ever hesitant to speak or could have been held back in school, but that’s what she told a fourth-grade class during yesterday’s visit to Marlboro schools.

Fares Sirdah, a quiet boy in Mary Guerriero’s class, asked the outspoken national teacher union leader if she had ever been shy. Weingarten, generally never at a loss for words, paused for a moment and let the kids in on a little secret.

“When I was in pre-kindergarten, my teacher suggested I be held back because I never spoke,” Weingarten said. “My teacher talked to my mother and suggested another year in pre-K might bring me out of my shell.” The kids were clearly surprised.

“I spent two years in pre-kindergarten because I had a very special teacher who cared enough to help me out of my shell,” Weingarten said. “And see what’s happened to me!”

Weingarten was in Marlboro this week as part of her “Making A Difference Every Day” tour. She highlighted Marlboro’s labor-management collaboration and willlingness to take risks to do what’s best for students.

NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira noted Marlboro is one of five school district partners in NYSUT’s Innovation Initiative, which is designing and piloting a model teacher evaluation and support system.

UPDATE: Read the AFT’s report on the event: N.Y. Local Showcases Labor-Management Collaboration.

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