Wednesday, January 27, 2021

CURMUDGUCATION: Teachers and the Toll of Disinterest

CURMUDGUCATION: Teachers and the Toll of Disinterest
Teachers and the Toll of Disinterest

The closest I ever came to leaving public education was almost twenty years ago, when I was the president of our local union, and we were on strike.

It was a challenging time. The contract negotiations started with stripping (a technique where the district proposes to gut the contract so that they can pretend to make concessions later by agreeing to only partly gut the contract, which of course involves them giving up nothing). The lead negotiator said publicly, "We have the money. We just don't want to give it to them." And my phone never stopped ringing.

This is a small town, and while I'm not exactly a public figure, I'm pretty easy to find. And so people called to offer their thoughts on the contract negotiations and the strike.

The worst were not the raging teacher-haters. It was the other folks, some of whom I knew personally, who wanted to explain calmly and rationally why teachers had no right to expect things like good pay and decent benefits, how they should simply accept what the board offered and be happy they were so much better paid than fry cooks and convenience store clerks. 

I had to stare into the abyss of--well, I can't even call it disrespect, Disinterest. It's always a little background buzz that you learn to ignore, that buzz of all the people who really don't much care about public education and think that teachers are a glorified over-paid bunch of women who CONTINUE READING: CURMUDGUCATION: Teachers and the Toll of Disinterest