Sunday, May 12, 2013
Happy Teacher Appreciation Week
Teachers make such a difference in the lives of so many children. I know this first hand because I was a student in San Diego for nearly a year before coming to work at Last Stand for Children First. In that time, I was a truly and unsung hero and I remember it fondly. I had wanted to do a drive to have parents donate used mugs that we could clean and then present to teachers as our little way of saying thanks, but unfortunately I forgot about Teacher Appreciation Week until it was too late.
Teachers give so much of themselves to their students. I really wish there was a way to give them more money. Recently, Last Stand for Children First call a blue ribbon panel of experts in education reform together to look at ways we could better reward top performing teachers. After spending 18 months and $20,000,000 researching different approaches, we came up with a merit pay system that we thought would be a great way to make sure the best teachers are rewarded. Wouldn't you know it? Backed by their unions, district after district has rejected our plan.
In fact, teachers routinely block all the best things we have designed for them---from equipping students with dog collars that would alert a central computer when their focus drifted from their teacher to making sure that the best and cheapest teachers aren't automatically terminated when layoffs come. It just seems that the entire profession is given a black eye because of these few no good jerks who seek fancy retirements and $40,000 a year lifestyles at the expense of their children.
Keep in mind that this is a job where you work from 10-3 with every holiday off and 4 and a half months off in summer time. We pay teachers an exorbitant salary. I know this because my job at Last Stand for Children First puts me in a very high tax bracket and I am astonished to see how much I get hit for in taxes and don't even get me started on property tax. I refuse to believe that adding a stables and a tennis court adds that much to a home's value. Still, my taxes keep rising because I'm paying for these people to retire on easy street.
On a personal note, I'd like to thank Mrs. Ward who cheered me up in 4th grade when I'd go to her music class after Mr. Altino's math class. Wow! was Mr. Altino a jerk. He always smelled of cheese, garlic, and onions and he was sooooo boring. I wouldn't have giving this guy a dog license let alone a teacher's license. So many of my teachers were such losers.
So thank you for all that you do. You are shaping are future and I think I speak for everybody in Last Stand for Children First when I say it's really appreciated.