Collective Action: A View from the 2019 Chicago Teachers’ Union Strike

Going on strike as a Chicago teacher.

I appreciated Matthew Sakow’s (2019) candid reflections on his attitude towards strikes and unions in his piece “ From ‘Strikes to ‘Collective Action’: Reflections on a Changing Mindset.” I didn’t start out as anti-union, but for most of my life I’ve felt ambivalent towards unions in general. Although I was student teaching during the 2012 Chicago Teachers’ Strike (the first one since 1987), I have to confess I didn’t pay that much attention to it. Some of that was from a self-preservation standpoint: a lot of vitriol gets thrown out during a strike, and I didn’t want to process how some of the public viewed teachers just before I jumped into a new profession. I recognize that privilege of being able to step back from the issues.

References and Citation


Chicago SpedPac [chicagospedpac]. (2019, October 28). Many at schools on the northside don’t fully understand how under resourced schools on the south and west sides are. [Tweet]. Retrieved from


Park, H. (2020). Collective action: A view from the 2019 Chicago Teachers’ Union strike. Kaleidoscope: Educator Voices and Perspectives, 7(1), 19–21.



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The Knowles Teacher Initiative supports the efforts of high school mathematics and science teachers to improve education in their classrooms and beyond​.