Breanna Barraclough / Jared Stevenson / Newshub.

The colorful signs from yesterdays teacher strike

Must See 16/08/2018

Thousands of teachers and principals took to the streets on Wednesday, armed with enthusiasm, determination and some very creative picket signs.

Striking for the first time in 24 years as part of an on-going pay dispute, primary school educators illustrated their demands in a wide variety of styles.

'Can you read this? You're welcome' was a stand-out, as was 'Think your own kids are exhausting? Try 32'.

Breanna Barraclough / Newshub.

One protester had a dire warning for the future of the English language.

Breanna Barraclough / Newshub.

Some signs were big, colourful and artfully designed, but the protesters with less visually impressive messages had a good excuse.

Jared Stevenson / Newshub.

Cultural references ranged from Jay-Z - 'I got 99 problems and cuts to education funding have caused all of them' - to Yoda - 'A sign it must be'.

Breanna Barraclough / Newshub.

There were multiple Harry Potter-themed signs, including 'This wouldn't happen at Hogwarts' and 'Hermione loves her teachers' which was held by a very young protester/witch.

No word from JK Rowling yet on how many Galleons a year the average wizarding staff member can expect.

Breanna Barraclough / Newshub.

Fruit was a popular theme, from various riffs on the 'giving teacher an apple' idea to a protester in a banana suit saying 'Let's make teaching more a-peeling'.

Newshub.

Baby Neve got a shout-out from several protesters - although the messages were very much directed at her mum.

'Vacancies have got no bids, who will teach Jacinda's kids?' went one lyrical sign, while another simply read 'Neve Ardern, meet your 42 classmates'.

Breanna Barraclough / Jared Stevenson / Newshub.

'I'm not usually a sign guy but c'mon Chris' was spotted at the Wellington strike outside Parliament. It was a reasonably gentle call-out for Education Minister Hipkins, who attended the protest with other MPs, including Golriz Ghahraman, Marama Davidson and Kelvin Davis.

Also in the firing line was National leader Simon Bridges, whose taxpayer-funded $113,000 roadshow didn't sit well with one disgruntled protester.

Other highlights included 'The 80s called, they want their salary back', 'Time to use our outside voices' and 'Nine til three, Monday to Friday, what a yarn'.

One sign in particular perhaps best summed up the historic day: 'I'd rather be teaching, but this is important'.

Jared Stevenson / Newshub.