When Chicago educators hit the pavement last month with picket signs demanding police-free campuses, they challenged a security strategy that teachers unions have long embraced — and one that continues to divide school staff nationwide.
“It’s not a coincidence” that teachers unions are calling for police-free schools in cities like Denver and Los Angeles, where raucous educator caucuses committed to social movements and anti-racism platforms have gained significant influence, said Jon Shelton, an associate professor (Democracy and Justice Studies) at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. “They’re more militant; they’re willing to galvanize their members and go on strike,” such as in the recent “Red for Ed” protests demanding more money for schools. “And these unions have largely been winning,” he added.
Source: Teachers Unions Historically Supported Campus Cops. George Floyd’s Death — and a Wave of ‘Militant’ Educator Activists — Forced Them to Reconsider | The 74
Assistant Prof. of Psychology and Chair of Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology Alan Chu’s idea about the ripple effect of sending gratitude letters and small acts of kindness was quoted in the most recent episode of the Calm and Connected Podcast hosted by Janine Halloran, a licensed mental health counselor, where she shares a visual activity to help kids see how kind acts can spread and make a positive impact.
UW-Green Bay Assistant Prof. and Chair of Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology Alan Chu (Psychology) shared his insights with EduMed, a higher education resources website, on teaching online courses as instructors and “test driving” them as students. Read it here.
University of Wisconsin Green Bay Natural and Applied Sciences professor Michael Draney says there are about 50 different mosquito species in the state.
“There’s a reasonable number of mosquitoes, especially this mosquito called the Northern House mosquito,” Draney said. “[It] is kind of a small mosquito that flies and bites in the daytime, and it seems to be pretty abundant in this neighborhood.”
Draney says this year seems to be worse than average, because we’ve had a wet spring.
“They sometimes are attracted to your car, if your engine is running, because it’s warm and it’s giving off carbon dioxide,” Draney said.
Source: Mosquito population in Wisconsin increases after a wet spring | WLUK
As the start of the school year approaches—and the pandemic rages on—many teachers are reaching a breaking point. They’re scared to go back inside school buildings. They’re frustrated with state guidance, which they feel leaves more questions than answers. And they feel like their voices are not being heard in the push to reopen schools.Over the past couple years, teachers have organized strikes and walkouts in more than a half-dozen states and at least five big cities to fight for higher wages and more school funding. Even so, any labor action on a national scale would be “wholly unprecedented,” said Jon Shelton, an associate professor in the department of Democracy and Justice Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, who studies teacher strikes.
In most of the country, teacher strikes are illegal. And even in the 15 states where strikes are legal or not covered by statute or case law, teachers still have to follow a process before they go to the picket lines. Strikes are typically the last resort in a contract negotiation process between the local teachers’ union and the district, after negotiations and mediation fail.
“There’s virtually no state where there’s just an unqualified right to strike,” Shelton said.
Source: Teachers Are Scared to Go Back to School. Will They Strike? | Education Week
“When we are stressed, anxious, or frustrated during these challenging times, the sympathetic nervous system is activated and our body releases chemicals such as cortisol, adrenaline, and other stress hormones,” explains Prof. Alan Chu (Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology).
To help the body recover and reduce negative thoughts, Professor Chu advocates mindfulness and relaxation techniques including yoga and meditation.
“Mindfulness helps us acknowledge that we are not our thoughts and emotions. This perspective helps us be self-compassionate and not overthink stress and anxiety in order to prevent downward spiral.”
Source: How Relaxation Can Improve Remote Employee Productivity
In a recent Yahoo News article, there are five proposed stages of mask-wearing grief when it comes to seeing people in public not wearing masks. Assistant Prof. Alan Chu (Psychology) gives advice for how to approach people not wearing masks.
“People do not like to be forced to do things, and that’s what we are getting with non-compliance in wearing masks when people feel like they are being pushed to do so,” says Dr. Alan Chu, Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay. “Ask the following statements based on motivational interviewing techniques in order to help people take ownership to make the change you want to see.”
Here are the statements Chu suggests, with their intents:
- “I’m curious why you are not wearing a mask” (gathering information)
- “I see your point. What do you think about the research evidence that shows wearing a mask can significantly reduce chance of infection? Are you concerned about your health and your family’s?” (showing empathy, indicating facts and care, prompting thoughts)
- “What are the costs and benefits for you to wear a mask?” (understanding any perceived barriers and getting them to analyze the fact that there are more benefits than costs)
- “What would you do after this conversation in order to make this a habit during these times?” (helping them put thoughts into actions and take ownership instead of being enforced to do so)
Source: It’s OK to Yell at Strangers Who Don’t Wear Masks | Yahoo News
You can also find his work in Fatherly.
UW-Green Bay students, including Green Bay soccer players helped former UW-Green Bay Prof. Regan Gurung with a study on clothing-based racist stereotypes. Read the study here.
Associate Prof. Jon Shelton (Democracy and Justice Studies) and vice president for higher education with the American Federation of Teachers-Wisconsin labor union gave input on Tommy Thompson’s start as the UW Systems Interim President.
He said while he doesn’t agree with some of the policy platforms Thompson championed during his four terms as governor from 1987 to 2001, he feels that Thompson knows the importance of funding the UW System and ensuring it serves the state.
Shelton also said it’s possible that Thompson’s connections at the federal level could help in securing federal aid for universities suffering heavy financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shelton welcomed Thompson’s inclusive approach, which he said was lacking during the past decade when the UW Board of Regents was dominated by appointees of former Gov. Scott Walker.
“A lot of faculty and staff have felt like they haven’t had people at the system level really listening to their concerns,” Shelton said. “So I think this is a really good step in the right direction.”
Source: Tommy Thompson begins term as UW System president | BusinessNorth.com
Barbara Hauxhurst Cofrin Prof. of Natural Sciences Mike Draney participated in the America Arachnological Society’s virtual Forum on Effects of Racism on Arachnology at the (virtual) Annual Meeting of the American Arachnological Society, and was invited to moderate one of the breakout groups on “Addressing feelings of social isolation among POC in academia.” Ideas and suggestions resulting from these breakout sessions will be forwarded to the AAS Advisory Board for consideration and implementation.