Monday, September 10, 2012


The Chicago teacher strike is currently going on right outside my front door. I live across the street from an elementary and high school and they are stationed outside with signs asking people to honk for fair pay and evaluation procedures; a cheer goes up every time they get a honk, and the crowd is starting to get bigger. From elementary through high school I always toyed with the idea of being a teacher, but Mom who has been teaching for 36 years gave me a resounding: "No" when I was trying to decide my major in college. Policies are changing and it's not necessarily for the benefit of the teachers, much less the students. And it's gotta say something when your mom would prefer you get a degree in the arts than one in education...

As unfair as people seem to think it is that the teachers have "walked out" on their students, they're actually fighting for their education. Updating to a better curriculum and an evaluation system that isn't based solely on test scores. The term that most shocked me is that they have to negotiate for air conditioning. Some schools don't have it and when school begins in August students are sitting in a 90-degree classroom. The teachers are stepping in to protect their students, and despite the fact that my teachers never had to strike for me to keep my arts classes or for an air conditioned room, I always knew that their first priority was helping their students succeed. Teachers should be thanked for that more often, and not accused of abandoning their classrooms.

I'll get off my soap box now and return to my day of organizing and dress rehearsals, and if you feel so inclined you can read more here and here.

1 comment:

  1. I'm a teacher, and this stuff riles me up so much. It's really not a good time to be a teacher, but at the same time, it's what I want to do. But it's really scary right now that you could lose your job or earn less because of standardized test scores that are all but meaningless. Also, why is our society so intent on demonizing teachers? It's a really tough job, and the vast majority of teachers are caring and hardworking. To all the people who complain about teachers and think it's a job that anybody could do: Try it out for yourself and see just how easy it really is.