Teachers hold 'grade-in' at Arizona shopping centers

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

We've seen teachers here in Arizona taking a hard stance, demanding better pay and more funding for education. And Sunday afternoon, the “Red or Ed” movement continued.

Teachers held an event at two Valley shopping centers, one of them being Arrowhead Mall. They gathered to give a message.  

[INFOGRAPHIC: Average teacher salaries in Arizona]

“They will always be my kids the minute they walk into my door.” 

Heather Nieto is a high school teacher and says teaching has been more like a calling than a job.

“You can study to be a banker, you can study to be an architect but you're born a teacher,” said Nieto.

[INFOGRAPHIC: How AZ teacher pay compares to other states]

But Nieto says with the lack of funding in education, it's getting harder to do what she loves. 

“We wanted to bring some awareness to the public to show them the backside of teaching to raise awareness and gain support for our cause.”

The cause, the “Red for Ed” movement, a state-wide grassroots effort to stand-up for and bring awareness to public education, and the need for more funding. As part of the movement, Nieto organized an event Sunday afternoon called a "Grade-In" 

[RELATED: Teachers demand Gov. Ducey roll back corporate tax cuts]

“Just kinda give an idea of the day in the life of a teacher because teaching doesn’t end when the school bell ends.” 

More than 100 educators and supporters gathered in the food court of Arrowhead mall to publicly show what teachers typically spend their weekends and free time doing. Things like grading papers, preparing lesson plans and gathering needed supplies. Often sacrificing time with their own families to get it all done.

[RELATED: AZ teachers considering strike if school walk-ins don't prompt change in pay]

“We're doing it for our kids that attend our public schools. They deserve high quality teachers who are paid commiserate with their experience.”

They hope this movement will grab the attention of law makers to make changes for the improvement of public education on Arizona. 

“I know that Governor Ducey wants the best for our state. The legislature wants the best for our state. And the best way for them to do that is for them to sit down with us and talk with us so we can all come to an agreement.”

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