Your Rights and Responsibilities

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  • Join your local association/TSTA/NEA affiliate. Your career is your most valuable investment.
  • Register to vote and REMEMBER TO VOTE; every decision that impacts you is a political one.
  • Know who to contact at TSTA (your TSTA Support Network):
    Immediate Questions/Answers/Support:
  • Your TSTA campus leader
  • Your local association president
  • Your AOT staff person
  • Legal issues/questions: TSTA Help Center (1.877.ASK.TSTA)
  • Instruction/certification/professional development:
  • Know and understand your rights.
  • Preserve, protect, and defend the planning period. It’s yours so use it and protect it.
  • Take your full lunch period; it’s duty-free, is a full 30 minutes, and DOES NOT include hall duty or taking kids to/from the cafeteria.
  • Keep copies (print or electronic) of the following close at hand: ‣Employment Grievance Policies DGBA (LEGAL) and DGBA (LOCAL) ‣Teacher Evaluation Policies (DNA (LEGAL) and DNA (LOCAL) ‣Teacher Appraisal Manual (T-TESS, PDAS, or a local instrument)
  • Take time to document; you never know when you may need it.
  • Keep your principal and appraiser informed; no one likes surprises and if you don’t inform them, someone else will.
  • Understand the “ins and outs” of your leave time.
  • Be on time every morning. If you’re running late, call your principal.
  • Go to local school board meetings; it’s amazing what you learn and it all impacts you.
  • Question things you don’t understand but don’t be insubordinate. If something doesn’t make sense or you don’t understand it, ask a question. If you don’t know how to ask the question, contact your TSTA support list.
  • Have the moral courage to speak up; your reality may not be the same as another teacher’s.
  • Know and understand the process of how things get done and who does them.
  • Avoid talking about students in public places, including the lounge.
  • Maintain confidentiality of students, colleagues, and parents.
  • If someone says “it’s the law. . .” ask for a copy of the law.
  • Advocate for yourself, your profession, your school, and your students.
  • Share your story; no one can tell it better than you can.
  • Keep your personal life private and separate for your professional life.

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