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August 11, 2020

Thanks to everyone who participated in our primary election. With most of us voting by mail, it was certainly a very different kind of Election Day Tuesday, but we had lots of good news with many of our endorsed candidates moving on to the general election. I’m particularly glad to report that we’re going to be adding another AFT Michigan member to the state house: Detroit Federation of Teachers member Regina Weiss won the Democratic primary in House District 27.  Happens to be where I live so it will be great being represented by a member in the Michigan House.

There is a lot of energy around State House, Congressional and Presidential candidates for this November. However, board member decisions often have an even more direct impact on our schools and colleges. Therefore, it is essential that school board members who are pro-public education and union are elected. That is why we need you to let us know if your local is supporting candidates who are pro-public education and pro-union for your board. Email their names no later than Monday, August 17, 5 pm to   

AFT Back-to-School Webinars

You can find and share resources, and see all of the webinars being offered, in the new Back to School 2020 community on Share My Lesson.

A Strategic Approach: Navigating College and Career Planning

Aug. 13, at 1 p.m. EDT | REGISTER

Join myOptions for a workshop on how to support students and families as they navigate postsecondary planning. Educators and mentors will have an opportunity to learn about best practices from the field on how to stay connected with students, whether you are back at school or mentoring at a distance. Participants will receive an introduction to myOptions Encourage, a free educator platform that connects educators, students and parents in the postsecondary process.

Back to School: Redefining the New Norm of Hybrid Education

Aug. 13, at 2 p.m. EDT | REGISTER

It’s time for educators and administration leaders to start thinking about #backtoschool. We will be exploring hybrid approaches to the new academic year, by expanding on positive takeaways from emergency remote learning these past few months. Join us to learn about questions leaders are considering, skills that educators are looking to continue building over the summer, and possible strategies to approach a hybrid education model.  

Fostering SEL and Self-Care for Our Students in the Coronavirus Era

August 13, 4 p.m. EDT | REGISTER

In this webinar, staff from the Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility will share strategies for encouraging social and emotional learning and self-care in our students through remote learning platforms. We will provide guidelines for opening up dialogue around difficult feelings and ideas that are coming up for students during these hard times; suggest ways that students can express those feelings and ideas through music, art, physical activities, written prose and more; provide guidance on how we and our students can step away from it all and get through this challenging period using self-talk and breathing exercises. We’ll also look into self-care routines for educators as we move into a new uncharted school year.

9 Ways Educators Can Support Students Experiencing Trauma

Aug. 13, at 5 p.m. EDT | REGISTER

Presented by First Book and informed by experts in the area of childhood trauma, this workshop is designed to provide an overview of the causes and symptoms of trauma, offer insight on frequently asked questions, and provide actionable steps educators and caring adults can take to support the learning and development of their students. Participants will learn how trauma affects learning, how it manifests in students, and explore recommended strategies to help students cope with their emotions, manage meltdowns, and more. All attendees will receive a copy of First Books “Trauma Toolkit,” which will include actionable steps you can take to support your students.

Teaching Reading Is Rocket Science, 2020: What Expert Teachers of Reading Should Know and Be Able to Do

August 13, 6 p.m. EDT | REGISTER

Please join renowned researcher and author Louisa C. Moats and two AFT national literacy trainers for a webinar to hear about how the science of reading can be implemented in virtual and physical classrooms alike. Read the report and find more great AFT literacy resources at

Register for all new Back-to-School webinars

In solidarity, 

David Hecker, President

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