Fanny and Ron Arana are married and they’re both teachers. They’re on Christmas break from their respective schools, but their vacation time this year has been very low-key as they prepare for a potential teachers' strike.
“We’re enjoying a lot of our vacation. We’re doing a lot of close to home stuff because with the pending strike we’re certainly not out spending any money. Friends on vacations and cruises, we’re kinda just sitting here enjoying our dogs,” said Fanny.
Two of their three children are also planning on becoming teachers, so the couple feels even more compelled to ensure that the family business of being educators stays intact.
“We must go on strike to protect the teaching profession for not only our own children but the future generations of teachers,” said Ron, a history teacher at Nobel Middle School in Northridge.
Their son Josh is currently studying at Pierce College and plans to become a math teacher.
“I want to be able to know that I'll have somewhere to work I want the benefits and even the security in knowing that the choices that I'm making right now aren't going to be a mistake in the future,” said Josh.
With their computers back to back, Fanny and Ron strategize about how they’re going to pay two college tuitions while on strike and neither of them is receiving a paycheck. But they say they will figure it out – for the sake of their children.
“Two of our children are training to be teachers. And we are very concerned about the future of the teaching profession and we want them to have the same rights, pay structure, and health benefits that we have today.”
Today the couple are enjoying spending time with their dogs. But they believe that this strike has long term implications.
“A strike is super important for the future of teaching because we want to see more young people like our own children walk into classrooms with their heads held high saying 'Yes, I am here because this is where I want to make a difference.'”
For this family of current and future educators, making a difference in the lives of children is their lives' work.