Friday, September 14, 2012

On The Teachers Strike

I was going to write a long rant in support of the teachers on strike in Chicago, but Charlie Pierce beat me to it and nobody does rants like him.

I am not flexible about this. If you want to look tough at the expense of public-school teachers, you are a snob or a coward, or perhaps both. Every member of this MSNBC panel that Digby found, including all the liberals and all the Democrats thereon, can bite me, seriously. If I have to read one more smug, Ivy League writer from Slate talking, as the big strike goes on, about public-school teachers as though they were unruly hired help, I may hit someone with a fish. Let Matt Yglesias do 20 percent more work for four percent less pay and see how he likes it. The idea that, say, “Chuck” Lane cares more about “the kids” than do the people walking the picket lines in Chicago is damned near close to obscene.

I couldn’t agree more.

To any of you out there who think that teachers have it “easy,” that they only work when school is in session, and wow, it must be nice to have all that time off (I get that too, even though my job with the district is full time and summer is the busiest time), I issue the following challenge: go to your neighborhood public school and shadow a teacher for a week. See what they go through, see what they have to do to be ready to put on classes, get ready for the next one, grade papers, go to all the meetings, attend all the after-school and weekend events like football, basketball, and baseball games, drama productions, deal with the parents, work with individual kids before or after class, try to keep up with the professional development requirements, duck the occasional violent outburst, and then listen to some politician or pundit carry on about how public sector union employees are lazy and want it all. Yeah, you’d be walking a picket line, too, if you had the chance.

Oh, look, I ranted anyway.