- Frederick Douglass: “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” - July 4, 2021
- President Biden Pushes For Teachers To Get Their COVID Vaccine Dose By March - March 2, 2021
- We’re Just People Who Don’t Want To Be Killed! A Student Reflection About Insurrection - January 26, 2021
- Betsy DeVos Resigns: Most Teachers Say Good Riddance - January 8, 2021
- Class Divide in Emergency Learning: A Crisis Overseas - September 10, 2020
- Practicing Self-Care in the Midst of Chaos - August 31, 2020
- Do the Work: Equity Symposium for Teachers - August 23, 2020
- Universities Collaborate on the Biggest Experiment in Higher Ed: Reopening - August 3, 2020
- The Day of Teacher Self-Care is Happening August 1, 2020 - July 21, 2020
- Do the Work: A Conversation Around Anti-Racist Teaching in K-12 Schools - June 14, 2020
What if all teachers went on strike? What would schools do? How would students learn? How would parent find a safe, productive environment for them? These are all questions that people who live in Chicago are experiencing because as on September 10, 2012 all teachers in Chicago Public Schools went on strike.
Everyone who is anyone (politicians, parents, news anchors, people on the street) have an opinion about if the teachers are right to strike but I have a problem with people who have never taught commenting about what teachers should do in their profession.
These people have never been evaluated based on children's academic performances (despite many students being 2 grade levels below in reading and writing). They've never been cursed out by a parent whose angry because you disciplined that child for skipping your class. They've never taught homeless students who are more worried about surviving than what chapter of Anne Frank to read. They've never taught in a classroom of 32 children all with varying academic needs-- without basic supplies.
You see they have never been a teacher.
You see while everyone agrees that teaching is a "noble" profession, it is rarely viewed that way by the public. We make substantially less than other professions with our time and personal commitment yet everyday we are told to "try harder" and improve ourselves without addressing the other factors (parent involvement, motivation, poverty,etc.) that influence children's academic performance. Everyday some new legislation is passed by someone whose never been in a classroom or it's been so long ago that they have no idea what a modern classroom is like. Or to make matters worst we're evaluated by people who escaped the classroom after 2 or 3 years but still believe they can tell teachers how to be effective--in a classroom.
So where in the world are teachers treated so bad-- America, Land of the Free, of course.
In what other profession can someone without a teaching background come in and "flip" the education world upside down? (Think George W. Bush with No Child Left Behind) Would we blame a doctor if his patient refused to follow his orders and developed diabetes despite the doctor's earnest attempts to change their lifestyle? Would we blame the doctor? Of course not, but in education teachers are blamed for everything that is wrong in the nation. Think about this- what would happen if a bunch of science teachers decided to change how doctors become licensed to practice medicine? Of course, chaos would ensue and rightfully so! Doctors are qualified to make decisions about their profession just as teachers should be the ones making the decision about what happens in schools-- not board members, politicians or other random people who have no background in education. The only people who can make effective policies about education are people currently in the classroom or recently removed from the classroom.
As I watch the news in Chicago, I am proud. Proud that for once teachers are standing up for one another and the children they teach. They are saying that they demand better work conditions and benefits.They are saying that no longer will they take all the blame when children are under performing in their academics.
They are saying prove you respect our profession of saving children's minds like doctors are respected for saving people's lives.
Yes, while having children out of school is burdensome for parents; hopefully parents will realize the importance of teachers and rally to the school board to treat their teachers better. Would you want your child being taught by a professional who has not had a raise in years, endures emotional abuse at the hand of their bosses and whose profession is constantly being attacked? Surely not, neither would I.
So do you agree with the teachers striking in Chicago?