This post is a contribution to EDUSolidarity, the net roots campaign of hundreds of American teachers explaining “why teachers like me support teacher unions.”
by Lissette Velazquez
NYC Charter HS for Architecture, Engineering and Construction Industries
The point of being an American is to be supported by the ideas this country was founded on; and that is democracy and the equal treatment of all who contribute to this great country. Although nothing is perfect, I believe that unions like the UFT try to continue with the American idea that there should be fair and equal treatment to those who work hard for the future of our children. I am both a high school teacher and mother of a child that attends an inner-city school. It is imperative for me to know that I can be secure in my position so that I can give my best to my students. The union’s purpose is to keep good, loving, and productive teachers in the classroom and it never forgets that the children we serve are not just I.D. numbers on a roster, but they are our sons and daughters that deserve the best education that this city can provide for them.
Whether you are a charter school teacher or a city school teacher, the UFT has served to uphold the ideas of fairness, solidarity, community building, and resourcefulness in NYC schools as well as the educators that manage the classrooms on a daily basis. We are the caretakers of these children for more than half of their day, five days a week, 180 days a year. The UFT makes it possible for us to do our jobs well, securely, while reciprocating the support that we give to our students in letting them know that the only way to reach the stars is to move up in a prosperous education as both an instructor and a pupil. It is my honor to be represented by the UFT because I know their mission is to serve the teacher who cares, gives, and will never turn away from the children that look up to them as examples of what could be and what should be.