January 15, 2019

A Letter to My Students on Why I’m Striking

Phylis Hoffman • Second-grade teacher at Harry Bridges K-8 School

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Dear Students,

I am writing to you to let you know that one of the greatest joys of my life is being your teacher. I love being a teacher. It isn’t always easy but I know each day will bring lots of smiles, lots of laughs, and some hugs. Seeing you grow as a reader, writer, mathematician, scientist, and all around thinker is why I come to school each day.

But today, I am not in the classroom with you and although this makes me very sad to not be with each, and every one of you, I know it is very important for me to be outside of the school today and possibly for some more days to follow. I am participating in what is known as a strike. If you remember from the book Si Se Puede, a strike is when workers stop working because they are having a huge disagreement with their boss. Ms. Hoffman and all the teachers here at Harry Bridges Span School are having a disagreement with the people who tell our principal what to do.

Teachers know that if we all stand up together, we can get the District to give more things to you like smaller classes, nurses at all schools, more science labs and art teachers, and more counselors to help you when there are big life problems. You, the kids of California, are the most precious and important jewels of the state of California. The time has come for Ms. Hoffman and the other teachers in the District to stand up and remind the District and the people who we elected to our government about how wonderful and rare you all are.

One day, when you are older and have graduated from college, and are working in a career you love, I hope you will remember how your teachers made a very difficult decision and stood up for you. I hope you remember that children are our future and they should be treated as the most rare and fragile seeds that we grow in our communities and in the state of California.

Remember, students, that anyone can be good, but awesome takes practice!


Ms. Hoffman

We invite all E4E teachers to please add your voice and share your perspective on this critical moment.

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Phylis Hoffman
Phylis Hoffman is an E4E-Los Angeles member and a second-grade teacher at Harry Bridges K-8 School.