I know teachers, I am friends with teachers, and people who heap shame and hate on teachers never seem to cite any particular teacher, just “those” teachers, someone else’s teacher. They never mention THEIR teacher or their KIDS teachers. It is just like the “welfare queen” myth: it is the “teachers and their unions are evil” meme, and it is classist, anti-intellectual, and anti-labor claptrap. Teachers are underpaid, overworked, underrepresented in government and often vilified for the failures of communities and parents. Teachers get all children and do not ever turn a child away. This means they get the troubled cases and the geniuses, and everyone in between. We cannot blame teachers for bad classrooms or test scores when their class sizes are doubled, their salaries cut, their hours increased, their breaks and prep times slashed, and the benefits eliminated. We also hold our schools to testing standards that are unreasonable, racist, classist, and proven to be bad indicators of how and what children learn.
Good Teachers (and that is the VAST majority of them) have been proven to improve economic growth, help raise healthier and happier kids, and reduce crime and violence in communities. Teachers MAKE communities!
We must STAND with teachers, and give them the tools they need to shape our children into the thinkers, artists, workers, leaders and activists we will need in this coming century! I stand with the Chicago Teachers Union and all the teachers and students everywhere who protest for their rights and for a fair contract and safe and healthy classrooms.
If you want more info on the issues, the strike, or just on our great Chicago teachers check these sites out!