The Seattle Education Association strike is on as of 7:00 PM this evening.
I attended a meeting as the strike was being called that included teachers who have been on strikes and walk-outs along with teachers who would be doing this for the first time. The rest of the group was made up of concerned individuals who wanted to support the teachers during this time.
From the meeting, I came away with a list of ways to support our teachers based on the voices of many teachers.
Teachers and school staff will be at their respective schools tomorrow and Thursday outside the school on the picket line starting at 8:30 AM and ending at 3:00 PM. There will also be teachers at the Stanford Center during this time.
On Friday the teachers will be doing community work and will not be picketing.
This is what the teachers shared with me when I asked them what parents and concerned citizens can do to show their support.
The following answers are in the order I heard the comments:
- Just show up, even if it’s just for 15 or 30 minutes. It means a lot to teachers to see that you support them.
- Wear red to show your support or pin a 1″ by 1″ red cloth or red paper to show your support on the picket line or during the days of the strike as supporters did in Montreal during the student strike. It works. One teacher suggested cutting the cloth or paper into an apple shape for those so inclined.
- Bring hand written signs to the picket line.
- Go to your neighborhood school to show your support or to the Stanford Center if you work downtown during lunch. If you are in the Belltown area, you can show your support at the Seattle Center where the Center School is located.
- Talk to the teachers on the picket line about the issues that concern them and what they face everyday. You’ll learn a lot and it helps them keep up their energy.
- Call the school board and superintendent and let them know you support the teachers.
- Be a block captain and get your neighbors and friends out to a school in your neighborhood.
- Bring awareness of the strike to work as possible.
- Reach out to other unions you are involved with and ask their support for the teachers union.
- Offer your home if it’s close to a school as a shelter if it starts to rain or for the use of a bathroom. (The teachers will not be going into the school buildings during the strike.)
- Take selfies of you and your friends on the picket line to send to the soon-to- be-established Facebook page or to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will post them here and share them on the Facebook page.
- Take photos of you and your coworkers saying “We support the strike” and send them to this blog or the soon to be announced Facebook page.
- Bring instruments to play or sing songs or chants on the picket line. It raises the spirit and it’s fun.
Community Centers throughout the city associated with Seattle Parks and Recs will be open and available to parents on a low fee or no fee basis.
There will possibly be an event on Sunday to support and raise money for teachers to help them make their rent or mortgage payments. Many teachers have subsidized housing because they can’t afford rent in our neighborhoods.
There will be a forum on Thursday at City Hall in the Council Chambers with a great line up of speakers. It’s free to the public. This will also be an opportunity to join in and show support for our teachers, paraprofessionals, clerical staff, physical therapists, librarians and other school staff who are involved in the lives of students.
There is a Facebook page called Soup for Teachers that you can join to share information and coordinate efforts in supporting teachers.
We will provide new information as it becomes available.
See you on the picket line!
We’re getting in some great pictures. Please keep them coming and we will start posting them this evening, email@example.com.