Friday, September 14, 2012
Teacher Calls Out CTU
In the four days, I have been teaching I have had some low points like when my lap top was stolen or when the students playfully locked me out of my classroom for two hours or when I called Pedro Cabrera's parents and talked with them on the phone for 15 minutes before I realized they didn't speak English. However, I've also had tremendous highs. I've counseled 7 of my students into quitting the gang lifestyle and even my most challenging students have started to come around to my mix of tough love and high expectations.
Unfortunately, all of this was threatened when the Chicago Teachers Union went out on strike. I gladly crossed the picket line, but when I did there were no students inside for me to teach. There were only 4 students in the Children First program and I couldn't get the bus driver watching them to give them up. Adding insult to injury, I saw many of my students outside with their families picketing our school with the other teachers. Now, I must say the other teachers at this school are very jealous of me and I have a lot of work to do to unbrainwash these children.
The teachers' demands border on the ridiculous. Let's look at some of their issues:
1. Class Size - No less an expert on the Chicago Public Schools has shown us evidence that Chicago schools have an average class size of 16.
2. Salary - Students are being asked to work a much longer day and a significantly longer year. They want an increase in pay, but Chicago teachers are already overpaid. The average CPS teacher makes over $98,000 per year--more than double the average salary of investment bankers. This is why most teacher's parking lots are full of Focus's and Corollas.
3. Air Conditioning - Temperate breezes off of Lake Michigan keep Chicago cool in the Summer and mild in the winter. The weather is rarely above 75 degrees or below 65 degrees and while we have been experiencing an extreme heat wave since I've been in town, it obviously won't last.
4. Social Workers - No offense, but the sociologists at my college were always the worst students. I don't even think of it as a real major.
Teachers also do not want to be evaluated and have the right to walk into any principal's office and demand a job. Only Mayor Emmanuel cares about the children of Chicago enough to stand up to the marauding hordes of teachers, parents, and students who wish to take control of the school district from the people who know best.
Parent input is great and we're happy to allow it when it's funneled through a recognized organization like Stand for Children or Last Stand for Children First. However, these free agents pose a threat to the order. If the Chicago teachers care about children, they will come back to work and listen to my many great ideas to improve instruction in the classroom. Let's all work together to help our kids.