Leafleting the parking lot with the parents of our Adelanto students was a miracle treat for me. As a public school teacher since 1997, I’ve always appreciated parents but most teachers sometimes wonder how parents really feel about teachers. My school is akin to an inner city one but not exactly like it. Thought it’s suburban, the closest grocery store is about 10+ miles away. We did just get a new Family Dollar right by my school but some families whose students attend my school are struggling below the poverty line. In short … it’s not a wealthy neighborhood. Nonetheless I have more respect for some of our families than I do for those in Beverly Hills by far. They prove they have integrity. Today was Valentines day and my teachers union’s struggle with the Adelanto school district continued throughout the day and remains still unresolved as I type this. Nonetheless I feel lighter about it because of the parents, remember the ones in the families I just talked about who have high integrity? They heard our call to action and came out to the parking lots without being asked to inform the public about the struggle that is going on. It made my heart soar to see these families coming out on a holiday when they should be with their families having fun, eating, drinking, and being merry and instead standing strong with us sharing our message with the community.
From the Wal Mart manager who came out to ask what we were selling and then gave us donations to the first grader who held a sign that said, “Take care of my teachers.” I was nearly moved to tears repeatedly from 10am to 12pm as I was out there with them. Some stayed until 2:30 in the hot sun. Our struggle is well documented. Since the beginning of the schoolyear there have been 3 Victorville Daily Press articles about Adelanto Teachers and parents. Wal Mart could have driven us away but instead they donated much needed school supplies to our students. The parents, after picketing the district for three hot days prior, could have said “No more thank you.” and gone home. They didn’t. The children laughed, the parents talked and educated other people about what is going on in Adelanto. They posed for photos and told us they were praying we get the contract we deserve. We are indeed asking for just a fair one. In a job where you take care of the needs of 20-30 kids, and occasionally more, it feels soothing when someone takes care of yours. Our district has not been taking care of our needs sufficiently and it affect the students. When the parents heard that there were long term subs doing the jobs certificated teachers should be doing, they were appalled. When they found out the small things we were being denied and how much the Superintendent makes, they were mobilized. We have their back with their students and we mean to get them to college and into good jobs. They have let us know they have our back and it’s feeling good to be a teacher again. It’s nice to hear that we have the future in our hands from the people who are qualified to let us know.