There are a lot of awful quotes out there about teachers. I’m referring to school teachers of course. One in particular really made me cringe, something about how life would have no class without them. I just vomited in my mouth a little. I did however find one that was accurate, written by an actual educator, ” The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically, intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education” Dr.Martin Luther King Jr. I agree with these sentiments.
For the purposes of this article when I refer to teachers, I am referring to the women and men who teach, and the Paraprofessionals in New York City. The 200k plus teachers are members of the United Federation of Teachers union or (UFT)
Here’s the issue; I believe that the teachers union (UFT) and the teachers themselves, generally speaking of course, do not find it safe to return to work. This push-back from the teachers is definitely a contributing factor to our children returning to school. If you decide to go on Twitter, please do, and peruse comments you will quickly find that some of the teachers are “outraged” at the safety precautions put in place. Now to play Devil’s Advocate, I ask are they really concerned for their well being or are they just lazy and want paid time off?
To add to the issue is the remote learning situation. I’m calling it a situation, because it creates problems for parents and educators alike. Some common concerns the teachers have are; how can I dissect a frog remotely, how can I enunciate words and letters properly while wearing a mask, and most important, how can I gauge the students involvement if their camera is off.
Parents on the other hand have a different set of concerns such as; how do I get my child to pay attention? How do I juggle 2 and sometimes 3 calls at a time? Also (my favorite) how on God’s green earth do I juggle calls, homework, and oh yea a full time job. Some of these teachers feel that they are not baby sitters and are not child care professionals. Now if you are a teacher and by some miracle this blog post finds you please don’t mail me anthrax for what I’m about to say. Yes, you are in part a baby sitter. When my 4 year old special needs son destroys his underwear, you all are responsible to clean it up. Sorry for that Mrs. C. I am just making a point here, sorry for the visual.
I think the point I’m trying to make here is, teachers, we need you. Personally, I feel that the teachers should be considered essential workers. What could be more important in these socio-politically uncertain times then education (phew!!!). Education or lack thereof could be the culprit of some of today’s common problems. Recently these teachers and Paraprofessionals have been taking on additional work for the same pay. To pile on that, the risk factor is certainly increasing. In this aspect I do sympathize with the teachers. But hey, that’s why we have Unions.
Hey Michael Mulgrew WTF! Mr. Mulgrew is the president of the UFT and is responsible for the collective bargaining with the Department of Education. This Covid thing, believe it or not is a global pandemic. These teachers need some representation and motivation to get back to work. Here are some things from a union representative’s perspective to consider
Let’s Work It Out;
How about we get these teachers some hazard pay? This type of thing is a temporary or permanent increase to an employees pay due to an unusually hazardous environment. Its compensation at its finest. The Union workers of Shoprite, local 1529 and local 1262 are receiving hazard pay of nearly 10%. What is a better motivator then moolah?
Here are some other thoughts on hazard pay. These teachers are now asked to do additional work along with their normal duties. In between in-person classes teachers are expected to hold remote learning classes. Now they have to learn a new genre of education themselves. Normally, working in a career when you learn new skills, and get additional degrees or certifications doesn’t that come with, DARE I SAY, more money.
Another roll these teachers are taking on is Doctor. When I drop my children off to school, I notice teachers taking temperatures of kids. I do understand that taking a temperature is very basic but it does come with baggage. You can’t take a temperature remotely, the only way to do it is up close and personal and that’s where Covid likes to spread.
To conclude my first rant on WordPress, I am taken back to my childhood when I first heard the saying “you can catch more bees with honey than vinegar”. Being an adult (the age of an adult male not mentality) I do see the merit of this statement. A little bit of money might go a long way. On the opposite side of the coin, teachers, let’s stop playing the victim role here. There are many mandatory safety precautions being put into place in these schools. The statistics will also show that not only do children have the lowest rate of Covid but the schools are among the safest places to be. I would ask the teachers to read the aforementioned Dr. King quote and really think about the need for your services, and not just extending your paid summer off. Come on teachers TEACH!
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