First, let’s be clear. This raise was meant to accomplish two things: compensate teachers for the proposed 90 minute increase in their work day (an 8% increase) and to increase teacher pay to keep up with the cost of living in Chicago (something the remaining 8% most certainly would not actually do). That doesn’t even keep up with the rate of inflation over the next four years.First, let’s be clear – The rest of us, you know, the schmucks that work in the private industry haven’t seen a raise in 3-4 years (at least a whole lot of us). Oh, and that’s not all. Our training budgets have either been completely cut, or reduced to almost nothing. That employer-paid MBA or a Master’s degree – by and large, a thing of the past. Longer hours without compensation, drastically reduced bonuses (that were supposed be a part of the overall compensation), Christmas presents, etc. Yet, you don’t see us bitching and moaning. Hm… Well, no, we do, bitch and moan (at least we don’t do it while causing unbearable traffic jams), but we go on doing our work, and if we really don’t like it – we look for other jobs. You see, we don’t have a chance to organize into mafia-like organizations that can practice legal extortion (at the price of children, I’d like to add) and make “offers” our employers can’t refuse. I’m so sick and tired of hearing about the unfairness of the teachers’ contracts… Jesus H. Christ!.. You’re not teenagers, wake up and take a look around! – Does it look like the rest of us have “fair” contracts?.. Better yet – does it look like all of us have ANY contracts?!. – That’s right, the answer is a resounding “No!”
The classroom size… 50 students?!. – Whatever idiot would ever come up with that? – No doubt the one whose children go to a private school with 12 students per teacher. Great cause for you to put on the banners. I have only one question – why was it not enough of an issue for you strike over till the salary “mistreatment” showed up? - Makes me wonder whether you’re not just using a real issue to score points.
No student left behind, iSAT, and other idiotic “measurements” of performance… - Why is it that you never banded together against that so unanimously and determinately? My guess is, because it doesn’t really affect your interests; your students’ – yes, but not yours. And looking at the general trend here, I can’t help but conclude that you don’t really give two hoots about your students.
Compensation tied to performance – a complicated issue, no doubt. Well… How do YOU propose we evaluate your performance? And whatever the answer is, why is it that you haven’t pushed for it with equal vigor earlier? And while we’re asking questions, why is it impossible to fire a tenured teacher?.. Why is it that I’ve never heard of a teacher (at least not in my daughters’ supposedly really good public school) putting in her own time to help out the students? Or, God forbid, organize and run a math or science club on her own time?
If I had my way, I’d fire ALL of you, and replace you with unemployed professionals and young teachers. I’m willing to bet money the student performance would increase.
UPDATE: I love reading angry teachers’ responses where they compare themselves to “other professionals”, and for some reason, they invariably pick dentists… “Well!.. (in a keyboard-generated huff) You’ve been going to a dentist all all your life, and no doubt have seen how he works dozens of times… Why don’t you presume that you can do his job better?!. Why don’t you go on and give a few suggestions to him?!.” (Now with unconcealed air of offended superiority.) Well, you know how you tell students that there are no bad questions? – Yes, there are. And this is one of them.
But I’ll humor you, and answer it. That’s because we, the parents, teach our children something on a daily basis. We teach them to read, to write (yeah, can you imagine?), to do math, to ride bicycles, to draw, to program computers, etc. etc. And when they don’t succeed, we try different approaches, and we keep at it, and in the end, while perhaps not all, but a hell of a lot of us, succeed much more at it than you. And dentistry?.. Well, those of us who are not dentists, NEVER tried it, so keep our mouths shut and rely on the good doctors. Care to pick another professional for comparison?