The head of the teachers’ union in Nashville is furious. Not only that, she’s also taking action. Sure, she ran for and won the presidency of MNEA, but Amanda Kail is not about to rest now. Here’s more straight from Amanda on what’s happening with teachers in Nashville.
In the past two weeks, I have spoken with dozens of teachers in several schools across the district. And you know what? It doesn’t matter what school I am at- the problems are THE SAME. Toxic work environments, overwhelming workloads, not enough teaching resources, unfair evaluations, school buildings badly in need of repair, not enough support for students, violence and trauma, debilitating levels of stress, being expected to work more and more while wages stagnate and our city turns into a playground for the rich that none of us can afford.
Over and over I hear, “What are you going to do about…? When is MNEA going to…Well what about….?”
What am I going to do about it?
As one person, I can use my voice to share those stories to people in power. I can make phone calls, go to meetings, and speak with the press. But I am just one person. I cannot single-handedly change what many powerful people have created over many years.
The current state of our schools and our profession as teachers is no accident. Public education has been deliberately, chronically underfunded by our city and our state. Why? Because there is a lot of money to be made off of “failing schools”. The teaching profession has been hijacked because teacher unions represent the largest and most powerful remaining sector of the labor movement. Because the labor movement brought more wealth and prosperity to everyday people than anything else in history. So if you are a teacher and you feel like every day is some new fresh hell that has been designed to break you, you are correct. They are out to get you.
But here’s the thing. Someone once accused me of being way too positive on social media. They were insulted by what they saw as me refusing to voice the bitterness that so many teachers feel. “You are just too positive to really understand how we feel!” this teacher told me.
Here’s my secret. Just like Bruce Banner, I’m always angry. https://youtu.be/_Qq6dQwLh1s
In fact, I am fucking furious. And I refuse to relinquish one iota of power to the forces that want to tear us down. I refuse to say I am powerless because I’m not.
Instead, I will tell you that together we are powerful. When Nashville teachers stand up together, we can accomplish anything we want. And when we build a movement where we intentionally stand together with other communities and other workers, we will be so big and so powerful that NOTHING. WILL. STOP. US.
So what are you going to do about it?
1. Join MNEA
2. Join Nashville Red4Ed
3. Join us at Bargaining for the Common Good on Thursday.
4. Organize together. Fight like hell. Win everything.
It starts now.
For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport