#2 The interviews: What I have learned and where to start.

This week I interviewed two people who play a huge role in my life. My mom and dad. I interviewed them on my topic of interest. Education and what the key points that tie along with that are. I drew my inspiration from the Burlington School District strike and I have tried to grapple with what may have caused the strike. I quote my dad ” The strike is really complex, there are many different parts that caused it. Try and focus on a specific piece.” As I have thought about it and learned a little bit more I found that part of the reason is the teachers are advocating for better working conditions. My question… What are components I can try to bring to schools to help create these better conditions along with a better school community? My dad being a co-owner of a Vermont based business explained to me that it is important to have expectations or objectives in a community. “It helps work ethic improve if everyone is on board with the goals for the future.” My mom agreed but also had other ideas. As previously being a nurse practitioner and working in a hospital the community is a bit different compared to my dad’s. “When Leadership can provide clarity around what expectations are. I think that helps people stay on the same page and helps with communication.” Communication, this word that keeps coming up. I have figured out, it’s key. My other question… where did this go wrong in the BSD strike? There is still so much I want to learn. These comments from both of my interviewees set me on a path to determine how big of a role communication plays in this situation, but in anything really. I have learned it is important to stay open minded about these opinions because people may have reasons for their thinking. I am really excited to learn more about this topic and hear about other people’s outlook on the question.


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Lindsay Beer

2 Responses to “#2 The interviews: What I have learned and where to start.

  • Hi Lindsay. You have such thoughtful questions about this strike and it sounds like your parents shared some valuable insight. It is complex! Your openness and question asking is such an important trait for us involved in social action and all learning, really. There is often a longer story about how a situation ended up as it played out, and I imagine that is true here, too. What do you think could be done to focus on better communication all around?

  • Lindsay, I’m glad to meet you and am eager to learn more about the issues surrounding the BSD strike – and the potential legislation to block teacher union strikes statewide that might stem from it – as you investigate Vermont education in the next few weeks. Don’t know if you’re an etymology buff, but it’s interesting that the Latin roots of two words that you focused on in your post, communicate and community, are the same and concern the ideas of uniting, of making common, of having common interests. What are the common interests of the school board and the union? Where do their interests diverge? Is it important or useful that these interests don’t entirely overlap? What might the effects be on schools, students, school boards, teachers, and communities across Vermont if teacher unions are no longer allowed to strike? Should any legislation in that vein also include measures to improve/increase communication between school boards and teachers? What might such measures look like? Do you agree that teachers should be categorized as “essential state employees” and on that basis be blocked from striking?

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