Why I Joined: Brendon Jobs

The Caucus of Working Educators is a diverse group of PFT members and their supporters who hail from every corner of Philadelphia. Below is the story of one supporter--a high school teacher--who chose to join.
What experiences led you to join the Caucus of Working Educators?brendon.jpg
 
By my third year in the District, I felt disempowered in my school, but still loved teaching. I was an active Building Committee Member, and I felt an ingrained need to figure out how to take action in the interest on my students and in favor of my career as a Working Educator.
I believe in Social Justice Unionism that works for students, families and educators. I joined the Caucus of Working Educators as a way to amplify my voice in a way that helps inspire innovation and sound policy decision making in the midst of Philadelphia's fight for public education. 

What frustrates you about the current state of public education in Philadelphia?
 
I am frustrated by how much of my experience as a teacher has been directed by state and district politics. In public school, there should be a balance between compliance measures dictated from on high and the creative, generative work that educators do in the classroom every day. Creativity, not standardization, is what engages our kids and inspires them to think about their futures beyond school. 

What gives you hope for the future? 

Public education plays a vital role in Philadelphia’s revitalization. I deeply believe that, as a community, Philadelphians know that and want a better future for our children. That belief coupled with the energy that my students bring to class each day keep me excited about engaging in this work. 

What would you say to other teachers who are thinking about joining the caucus, but have avoided union politics in the past?
 
Join! Because WE deserve to have a clear voice in directing the course of our profession. WE deserve to feel heard and represented. WE are rank and file members of the PFT concerned with supporting the work that teachers do each day as stewards of democracy. The call for transparency, professional agency and action has officially been signaled. We need to not just talk about the need for more voice; we need to mobilize as a united body for that change.
We hope Brendon's story inspires you to join us in our work! You can also e-mail us to get more information about membership at members@workingeducators.org.