Hundreds of Burlington residents on Sunday showed they understand the central issue is time to teach
BURLINGTON – Teachers began their third day on the picket line a day after hundreds of Burlington residents gathered to demonstrate their support of schools the city’s students deserve.
“Yesterday’s rally in City Hall Park was exhilarating,” said Fran Brock, a Burlington High School history teacher who serves as president of the Burlington Education Association. “It was so good to see just how much our community supports us in our fight for schools our children deserve. It was clear yesterday that they understand that the issue is time – time to spend one-on-one with students.”
Brock reasserted that the central issue of the strike is time, particularly in the elementary schools. “Our teachers, particularly in the elementary schools, desperately need time during the school day to prepare, collaborate, assess and evaluate student-centered learning plans so each and every student can succeed.”
During yesterday’s rally, a teacher, a nurse, a parent, and two school board members spoke and affirmed their support of the city’s teachers, paraeducators, and others who want nothing more than to work collaboratively on behalf of the city’s students.
“The community understands that teachers are professionals and know what they are doing, and they know what needs to be done to narrow the achievement gap,” Brock said. “And the community also understands that teachers need the support of trained and respected paraeducators to work with individual students during non-teaching time during the school day. Teachers and paraeducators work best when they are a team, sharing the same goals: making sure each student feels safe, has adult allies and is getting a quality education that can make Burlington proud.”
Brock acknowledged that the strike is a strain on the city, and said she hopes that a contract settlement can be reached soon.
“We are fighting to be heard and respected, we are fighting for the professional time we need to ensure the best education for the children of Burlington. Teachers are committed to the city, its schools and its children,” Brock said. “Yesterday, hundreds of Burlingtonians made it clear: Our vibrant city deserves schools where all students thrive. Let’s work together on behalf of Burlington’s children.”