Why we're in this...

PAT Bargaining — Why we're in this...

 Let's reflect on the words of teachers, parents, and community members who are willing to strike for the schools their kids deserve.

Portland educators stand with signs in front of a billboard saying "can't put students first if you put teachers last."

Tiffany Koyama Lane, PPS Parent and Teacher

"As an educator and parent of two kids in Portland Public Schools, I’m frustrated by class sizes that are too big! In my 3rd grade class, I have 31 students in a classroom, when a few years back there were 23 students. More students mean more needs to address, more hours of prepping, more hours on the phone with parents, and less time with each kid. There isn’t enough room in the classroom, so I have to turn a heater into a desk, I use bookshelves and stools to make seats. I have kids sitting on the windowsill.”

Beyong Yu, Teacher

"Our students aren’t sardines. They are people. They deserve the time and attention from educators to help them grow into adults. Having a smaller class size for our students provides educators the time and space that they need to plan for them, it provides them the instruction they need."

Samara Bockelman, Counselor

"More than three years since the pandemic started, our kids are experiencing a lot of grief, trauma, and anxiety--some are feeling suicidal- all at a level we haven’t seen before. There are not enough of us in terms of educators and support staff—if there were fully supported teams at every school with full-time social workers, full-time counselors, full-time qualified mental health professionals, and school psychologists, we could work with students, make a plan with each student, and follow up, to help them manage their feelings, and anxiety, and set them up to focus on their learning and education."

Darshanpreet Gill, Educator

"As a high school science teacher, I love keeping students engaged and learning with hands-on activities like labs and dissections. But with packed classes and such diverse needs, it's impossible to give each student the attention they deserve and make sure everyone is handling equipment safely. If we had reasonable class sizes, each student would get more of my attention and get more out of my class. I just want to serve them to the best of my ability because they deserve nothing less, but without smaller class sizes, I just don't see how that's possible."