With the new Department of Education-UFT contract that increases educators’ professional voice going into effect, it’s only fitting that the union’s latest television ad campaign focuses on that very subject.
The spot, which debuted on Jan. 23, is expected to reach more than 11 million broadcast and cable viewers and make 4 million impressions in streaming services and on Facebook before ending its run on Feb. 1.
“As teachers, we should have a right to say what goes on in the classroom because we all want the best for our students,” said Ana Quintuna, a pre-K Spanish bilingual teacher at PS 105 in Brooklyn, one of three UFT members featured in the ad. “Us having a voice as a teacher goes a long way.”
Quintuna said teachers, parents and other school staff work in partnership. “Each of us having a voice in each child’s education is huge,” she said. “Ultimately, this is what shapes the future for our students.”
The ad begins with the outside of a school and cuts to a music class where students are rehearsing, directed by Dassika Joseph, a teacher at PS/IS 30 in Brooklyn. “Having a voice makes us strong and makes our public schools even stronger,” she declares.
After Quintuna introduces the union, Joe Bianco, a teacher at PS 102 in Brooklyn, says, “When it’s time to speak up for our students, you’ll hear us loud and clear.”
The song running throughout the ad crescendos at the end with a student in the chorus singing, “And make a mighty noise!”
The ad is appearing on programs such as “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” “Morning Joe,” “Good Morning America” and stations such as CNN, MSNBC, NY1 and the Food Network. The spot also ran on Hulu and other streaming services.
After the first day the ad appeared, Quintuna said she received a number of calls from co-workers and friends saying they’d seen her on TV.
“This was the first time I’d done something like this and it was a great experience,” she said.
She was, however, relieved to note, “No one’s asked for my autograph yet.”