A grassroots movement labeled #RedFoRed has fostered a recent upheaval in education. Last week, teachers from Arizona and Colorado walked out of their classrooms in protest of unfair wages and a lack of spending for students. Here is one teacher's perspective:

We teachers are charged with the duty of caring for societies' children. Not just educating them, but also caring for and safeguarding tomorrow’s future. Children often spend more time with us than their own families. Six-plus hours during the school day, after-school tutoring, coaching, mentoring, extra-curricular activities, the list goes on and on.

When your children enter high school, you may see them only one to two hours (or less) a day. The culture we create in our classrooms, our schools, our playgrounds, is the culture that raises them. When your teenager won’t give you a clue as to what is going on in their life, often there is a teacher who knows. A teacher who knows their hopes and dreams. A teacher who knows how important their art class is in a world that is otherwise confusing and frightening to them. A teacher that wakes them up to the wondrous possibilities of their future.

Children are still being cared for

Even now, as we protest, we work to make sure the children are being cared for. AP and IB high school teachers continue to work online, with their students, in order to prepare them for their exams.

Teachers volunteer their time so that prom, which is important to so many high school students, still occurs. Knowing the walkout was coming, teachers pulled together to gather food sources and childcare options so that children would continue to receive care during our struggle.

So, I will say it again, we, the teachers, are charged with the duty of caring for the children.

Your children. The future of society - the future of our very civilization.

Society here's your sign

Having said that, society, we are putting you on notice. We teachers will no longer be brushed aside like second-class citizens whose years of study amount to a barely sustainable income. We will no longer spend hours and hours of our lives preparing for the care of your children only to struggle to pay for our basic needs.

We, the teachers, demand to be heard. To be given a decent wage. To be given the respect that is deserved to a position of the utmost importance. The position of caring for societies children. Societies future. #RedFoRed