Fifteen Reasons Why: We Deserve More, DPS

Denver Public Schools has filed a request for state intervention to prevent the teachers’ union from striking next week. In the 19-page file, Superintendent Susana Cordova and her school district legal team have laid out reasons A-O (fifteen reasons) why the state should intervene.

Fifteen reasons why we, the teachers, deserve to be paid a fair, living, predictable wage.

Fifteen reasons why schools are targeted as the saviors of society in the same moment that teachers are vilified by the press and the public.

Fifteen reasons why we need a strike: let’s draw national attention to our plight, to the plight of a society that devalues education and the teachers who work to change the world.

Below, I have copied and pasted the fifteen reasons with haikus that represent teachers like me who have dealt with every one in some form or fashion:

A. Loss of Instructional Time from Teachers on Strike:
six hours a day
with every kid, every need
(and six more at home)

B. Students with Special Needs:
making learning plans
for families who need voices,
for inclusive rights

C. English Language Learner Students:
try writing our wrongs
again: try righting our wrongs
to build fluency

D. Potential Denial of H1-B Visas:
immigrant teachers:
First Amendment denial
(freedom, too, revoked)

E. Students Enrolled in Affective-Needs/Autism Center Programs:
routine disruption
tears students from what they need:
teachers who love them

F. Students Receiving Mental Health Services:
so much more than school
SSPs save our students
(sometimes from themselves)

G. Students Receiving Medical Care Services:
our school nurse gives them:
medicine, patience, advice,
hope for the future

H. Students Dependent on Schools for Food and Nutrition:
every teacher here
has given to the food bank
(lunch is not enough)

I. Students Dependent on Schools for Shelter from the Elements:
the prison pipeline
could stop with these school buildings
and a teacher’s love

J. Gifted and Talented Students:
let them be leaders
led by those who see their light
(you guessed it–teachers)

K. Student-Athletes Seeking Scholarships:
cultural veto:
to remove a student’s chance
of avoiding loans

L. Students Taking Concurrent College Classes:
what teachers give them:
highly-educated guides
for college keenness

M. Financial Hardship on Families:
double-income trap
means no parent waits at home
(they need our service)

N. Absence of Childcare for Families:
after all, aren’t we
glorified babysitters
asking for too much?

O. Fewer Resources for New American Families:
I beg taxpayers:
come visit our newcomers
to grasp sacrifice

Fifteen reasons why we fight every day for our students’ needs. Our society’s needs.

Thank you, DPS, for laying out our reasons. For proving to our country how badly we need to strike. For creating a legal request to clarify how heavily we carry the weight of the world.

For showing us all how little we earn as we carry it.

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