Log in  |  Search

Value Added: An Essay Contest for Teachers

The UFT is holding an essay contest for NYC public school teachers.

You’ve got 500 words. Now enter a UFT essay contest and tell Chancellor Cathie Black about all the value you add to the lives of students! What work do you do every day? What makes you so special? What do you do that often gets lost in all the talk about “reform” and “accountability”?

We will print the winning essays in the New York Teacher and post them on the UFT website. Winners will also receive a ticket (a $225 value) to the Sixth Annual PBS Celebration of Teaching and Learning at the New York Hilton on Saturday, March 19. Three lucky grand prize winners will also participate in a panel discussion at the Celebration with UFT President Michael Mulgrew and other educational leaders.

Mail your essays to: Essay, 52 Broadway, New York, NY 10004, Attention: Joseph Colletti. You can also email your essays to jcolletti@uft.org, but embed your essay in the actual email, as attachments don’t always open. Double-space, keep it to no more than 500 words, and please do not send any photos, articles, drawings or other materials with your essay. We cannot return essays. Be sure to include your name, address, school address and a personal phone number and personal (non-DOE) email with the essay.

The entry deadline is Feb. 25.



  • 1 ed
    · Jan 31, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Why are we addressing our essays to the oppressor? She and we do not share a common language.

  • 2 Jessica Jacobs
    · Jan 31, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    500 words. So much to write, so much to omit due to space. Off to start writing.

  • 3 Andrea R. Gelernter
    · Feb 20, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    How do you help the English Language Learner newcomers succeed in a new country and a new school?

    I have been asking this question to myself since I began teaching English Language Learners in the Bronx, New York in 1978.

    You help these ELL newcomers by giving these students the emotional, social and educational support that they need. At DeWitt Clinton High School, I have created the ELL Big Brother/Big Sister Program. I also established the Adopt an E.S.L. 1 student at South Bronx High School in the 1990s. Participants in this program are higher level ELL students or former ELLs. These students are the role models for our newcomers. They guide newcomers into a positive social environment and outlook. They work with newcomers on a one to one basis, in a beginning level E.S.L. class or in a content area class. These Big Brothers and Big Sisters give their time and provide a non-threatening
    opportunity to practice English language skills, survival skills, etc. They support students to adjust to a new life in New York City in the Bronx.

    The ELL Big Brother and Big Sister Program is a means to develop leadership skills for its participants. It provides volunteers to have a meaningful and rewarding impact on the ELL newcomers.

    I can attach a powerpoint created by the students in the English Language Learner Big Brother and Big Sister Program upon request. I hope you share my love of this program, too.

    The English Language Learner Big Brother and Big Sister Program is how I and the students at DeWitt Clinton High School give back to the community.

    Andrea R. Gelernter, ELL Big Brother/Big Sister Program Coordinator and Dedicated Teacher @ DeWitt Clinton High School, 100 W. Mosholu Pkway S, Bx. NY , 914- 6935967, 7 Ivy Place, Hartsdale, NY 10530