TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Toledo teachers are taking a stand through a series of walk-ins they have planned with the goal of educating parents of the challenges they face in their professions.
Concerns from union members of the Toledo Federation of Teachers include managing classroom sizes and teacher retention through competitive salaries and recruitment practices. These issues were represented by faculty at Scott High School on Wednesday who are seeing more teachers retire in the upcoming school year.
"We want the public and our community members to know that we take our jobs seriously," said Sara Barnhill, teacher at Scott High School.
She says the job is rewarding, but it's not without its challenges.
"My fight and my concern is to make sure that all of my colleagues are treated fairly," she said. "We have classes that are pretty manageable and then we have ones that are over-crowded and we want to make sure that all of our colleagues are having manageable classrooms."
In addition to classroom overcrowding, Barnhill says teachers have other concerns they want the community to know about, including excessive standardized testing.
"As a parent and a teacher that's a concern. We want to make sure we aren't over-testing our kids. We want to be teaching not testing," said Barnhill.
She says there's also a growing concern about recruiting and retaining new teachers.
"Year after year we have people who are retiring, and we want to make sure we get quality educators to fill their spots," she said.
TPS administrators support the faculty participating in the walk-ins.
A spokesman from the district said, "TPS supports the union's effort to educate the community on some of the struggles of public education."
Mayor Paula Hicks Hudson also came out Wednesday to encourage the effort.
"It's so important that they know that they're not alone and that we support the work that they're doing 'cause its so vitally important for our community," said Hicks-Hudson.
Teachers like Barnhill say they hope parents and others in Toledo will show that same encouragement to help improve our schools.
"We're trying to make the community aware of the need for quality public education and we're hoping to get everyone's support," said Barnhill.
The next walk-in is scheduled at Woodward High School on April 13.
Stay tuned to WTOL for more updates to this story.