Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Not a long post tonight but I wanted to voice my opinion/concern about some of the feedback I heard and read about the recently solved teacher strike in the Archdioceses of Philadelphia Schools. Honestly, I can’t say all that I want because of my current position as a teacher. Unfortunately I will have to censor some of it but the jist of how I feel should come through.
First off it amazes me how many negative things people said about those teachers. Calling them selfish, not caring about the kids, and being money hungry. Huh? Let me give you some facts about teachers that you may or may not know.
1. We are hands down underpaid. For the job that we are responsible for we should be paid double and triple what we do. As a teacher, I’m probably more responsible for your kid’s future than you are. During the school year I will probably spend as much if not more time with your kid than you will. We are expected help to make sure your kid learns the skills they need to be successful in life, but we are underpaid? Come on.
2. Don’t even start on me with the “well you get your summers off” bullshit. When it’s all said and done we get the month of July off and a couple weeks in August. Before you say “see there’s 6 weeks off a year that most people don’t get”, let me let you in on something. Most of you when you get done work are just that, done. I however have to spend numerous hours of my “off” time grading papers, making lesson plans, and attending meetings to ensure your kid gets their education. This includes my weekends and “vacation” time that you so vehemently remind me that I get.
3. Selfish? Seriously? Teaching is probably the least selfish profession there is other than maybe nursing. I constantly have to put your kid’s needs ahead of mine. Hmmmm, do I want to go out and watch the Phils game on Wednesday night with my fiancé? Yes. Can I? No, because I’m so exhausted from teaching your kids during the day and need to make sure I’m rested for Thursday. Hardly selfish. Oh did I mention that I have purchase a ton of supplies out of my own pocket to help ensure your kid gets their education? Probably didn’t think about that did you?
4. Don’t care about the kids because they are striking? There’s not a teacher I know that doesn’t care about their students. By striking we are just trying to ensure we get what we deserve. You think it’s easy? I challenge you to do my job for a week. I bet you’ll be changing your tune.
There’s not a person I know that wouldn’t want to be paid more, no matter what their job is. That’s the beauty of this country and labor unions. We can strike for better treatment if we see fit. It bothers me when people rip my brethren for fighting for what they see as fair. Education funding is getting cut. We are grossly underpaid. We use our own hard earned money for supplies. The onus on the “state tests” is extremely high. Despite all of this we go in everyday and do our best to try and change your kid’s life for the better.
I get that it’s an inconvenience for you during a strike but don’t you want some of the most important and influential people in your kid’s lives to be happy? Don’t you worry that every year a lot of teachers (the ones that actually care and want to teach your kids) leave the education field because they can’t afford to be a teacher? Don’t you realize that we all have our own families and lives , just like you, that we need to look out for? After all despite loving the job I do it is just that; a job. Teachers need to look out for our best interests and if that means strike I say more power to them. As I’ve stated before, put yourself in those teacher’s shoes for a minute. Then see if you’re still pissed off at them.