MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami) – More than four hundred Miami-Dade teachers, school security monitors and clerical staff attended a back to school pep rally of sorts Monday at Sun Life Stadium.
During the event keynote speaker Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, urged the teachers and staff to inspire their students and “reclaim the promise of public education.”
“It’s a new day, it’s a new day and we are all energetic and ready to get started,” said teacher Katie May-Taylor.
Weingarten also spoke about the need for teachers to join with their communities to fight for strong, safe, well-resourced neighborhood public schools with engaging curricula.
“These teachers are fired up and ready to go,” said United Teachers of Dade president Fedrick Ingram. “They are energetic about the job we have to do and we want to celebrate education before we start the job.”
Marlene Desdunes said she’s really looking forward to next week’s start of the new school year.
“I’m very excited. The beginning of the school year is always a challenge,” said Desdunes. “The new faces, the new hopes and dreams. Its a great opportunity to educate and prepare the next generation of learners.”
“I’m am really excited, yes I am. This is an upbeat time of the year for me,” said May-Taylor.
One of the innovative ways that teachers in Dade and Broward can “reclaim the promise to improve instruction” is by using Share My Lesson, the nation’s largest online collection of pre-K-12 math and English lessons plans, quizzes and other instructional resources.
“It’s a great resource,” said teacher Jaime Grant. “We all teach the same subjects but sometimes we get caught in our box and we won’t want to expand and see a different prospective. So it’s about 250,000 resources, uploaded for teachers by teachers, for teachers, approved by teachers and it’s completely free.”
While all the teachers say they look forward to the first day of school, some admit a case of back to school jitters.
“Absolutely of course we do it’s like getting on stage for going on camera for the first time except we do not get an Academy Award,” said Desdunes.
On Saturday August 17 there will be a free mega back to school event at FIU South Campus and the community is invited to enjoy the event. For more information log onto www.utd.org.