Since the end of summer school and WASL proctoring ended on August 10th, I have enjoyed staying away from the school. I was prepared to sit around the house and wait until 4:05 so I could hop on MLB TV and watch live Red Sox games.
Today, on August 21st, I cannot wait until school starts. The Red Sox have swooned, no, basically took a razor to their wrists and now Red Sox nation is forced to watch the slow dying process. Maybe someone will save them. So, I'm going on strike from the Red Sox for a while.
Turning to education, we don't have a contract in place for this fall, and the discussion has turned to strikes or "contract" hours. Meaning we wouldn't do any work beyond the 7:00-2:30 work day. This got me thinking. If we simply worked to the contract, who is ultimately affected? The district? The students? or the teachers?
The district isn't affected in any real way. Sure, they'll have to manage a P.R. campaign for angry parents. The student doesn't recognize they're being affected because they are oblivious. Isn't it the teachers who are affected? We'll still have to plan lessons, grade papers, and handle unruly students.
Now, everyone knows that teachers face an uphill battle with the public when it comes to the issues at hand. Because most parents have completed high school, they feel they fully understand what a teacher does. And they know that we get summers, every holiday, grading days, and a whole host of other days off.
What they don't know is that their kid might be a sarcastic little punk at school and that due to financing future buildings, we'll be losing our aides to deal with her. Here's the truth, most people in the public don't have a real idea about what we do in the classroom and out of the classroom to teach their children. And when a district offer increases class sizes, takes away aides, reduces planning time, or confines teachers to the campus, we don't feel like we're being treated as professionals.
So, if you are someone who gets upset at teachers for making your life difficult because we haven't accepted a proposed, contract and now the start of school is up in the air, meaning you must wait to find child care--which you apparently think we are--please take the advice of Atticus Finch and "walk a mile" in our shoes. If you can hack it, without complaining about pay or lack of respect, I will allow you berate me in public.