Teachers are extremely busy people, but despite all of the responsibilities already on her plate Torrington teacher Sarah Mobley decided to step up and become a building rep in her local.
Explaining the value of union membership and the reason she’s decided to get involved Mobley says, “The union is our voice. We are stronger together, and as a collective we can do more and speak up for the change we want in our schools. That is a power that union membership provides, and it’s important to be a part of that.”
The Southwest Elementary School teacher is in her first year as a building rep.
“I stepped up because I found out that my local didn’t have any building reps who teach the arts, so as an art teacher I thought, well, if they don’t have anybody in the arts, it’s my responsibility to step forward and take that position,” Mobley says.
It’s more for her to do, but Mobley has found being a building rep to be a rewarding position.
“It’s very easy to develop tunnel-vision when it comes to everything we have to do, day-to-day. We’re asked to do so much that it’s hard to carve out extra time,” she says. “But to be able to give back and become involved with the union—I find I feel closer with my building and can be a conduit for the other teachers who aren’t as involved. I enjoy being able to help them and keep them informed.”
Mobley says that she’s felt the value of being a union member in a number of concrete ways since she’s become a teacher. Smaller class sizes are just one example of how she sees the union’s accomplishments alive in her school every day.
“It’s easier, it’s cheaper to have larger class sizes, but we know that it doesn’t work. As teachers, we live that reality every day. Our union is where we can say ‘no, we need to have a cap.’ There needs to be a reason beyond economics why you would put five or 10 additional students in the classroom.”