In celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week, some of our administrators have sent emails with student’s sharing their appreciation, quotes from philosophers, and a limited few stated how important we are to them and our school. Those of us who have been here awhile know these emails are often sent during Teacher Appreciation Week. While we appreciate sentiment, we are frustrated that the compassion expressed this one week of the year rarely translates to policies and treatment that express true appreciation for the contributions CAVA teachers make every day. In fact, if our administration truly meant what they stated in their emails, then they would stop their delay tactics and meet us at the bargaining table.
Deanna Haynie said, “[Our] dedication, support, care, and love are truly what makes our students the luckiest in the state!” She’s right! We are some of the most dedicated educators in California! We noticed problems within our school and began to find ways to improve the education of our students. To quote Cathy Andrew from an email she sent on the topic of Teacher Appreciation, “Our students are with us for only a short time, yet that time is powerful – the connections that we make, the school culture that we build, the instruction that we provide – they set the tone for the future”. We agree with Cathy and would like to begin plans for a better future for our students instead of continual delays by the administration and K12. April Warren thanked us for the grace we have extended to her when she lets us down, “Thank you for grace you extend to others, including me, when they or I let you down”. April Warren, we ask you to not let us down when it comes to our students and school. It is time for all administration to put aside their differences and come together for the betterment of the school.
As we eagerly await our Teacher Appreciation email from our Head of Schools, Katrina Abston, we will continue to hope that this year Teacher Appreciation Week will end differently than it has in years past. As stated further in April’s Teacher Appreciation email, “…[making] a commitment to change is difficult for everyone and the uncertainty that change brings causes all of us to question ‘am I up for this?’ When I asked myself that question I came to the understanding that it isn’t about if ‘I am up for this?’ It is about ‘we.’” This year, we hope our gift from the administration is not a bunch of nice words, but an invitation to work together and meet at the bargaining table. We ask the administrators to stand by their words in these emails, listen to the voices of the teachers, and bargain in good faith for a fair contract.
The time is now for the CAVA administration to show their true appreciation for teachers.