You’re the Teacher, You Teach!

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!

Please comment if you liked or disliked my post.

Holy Shit, I Did It!!

It Actually Happened

Wow it actually happened, after taking forever to decide what it was, and how I wanted to go about it, I started a blog. It’s a small miracle. Contrary to popular belief I am in fact literate. My goal is to update my blog weekly, at minimum, unless I feel the need to go on a 1000 word rant about something in which case my ramblings should make for some good content.

I had an epiphany. One day while I was 60 feet in the air working on some high voltage equipment, I began to snap some bomb ass pics of the New York city sky line. My partner was controlling the lift and he accidentally drove us directly into a fence below. As I shit my pants, the shock from the whiplash almost threw me to my death, but somehow I was able to hold on with both hands. As we recovered, I realized my iphone was gone. I herd a cracking sound down below. At first I thought we crushed something, but I slowly realized it was my brand new iphone7. Coincidentally, at that moment the only thing I could think of was my wife who was 42 weeks pregnant at the time. I was expecting a call form her at any time. For all of you math majors out there, that means she was already 2 weeks to the day late and was scheduled to go into the hospital that night. Oh Shit!

Everything had worked out for me in the long run but in that moment, my “oh shit” moment, I had realized that this would make for a funny work related story. Initially I had made a post on Instagram about it which received a moderate amount of likes. But social media was not the right forum for me. I had envisioned people calling me an idiot, or sharing a story of their own of a work calamity. But none of that occurred.

I then began to formulate my Idea about a work related blog dedicated to people like myself who are traditionally blue-collar, and middle-class. If you are not blue-collar you are more then welcome to participate in discussions, although this blog is aimed at the worker. Hopefully this blog will encourage some discussions about common workplace issues, like doing more work with less people, lay-offs, Union busting. Anything related to the working persons life in general is fair game.

My hopes are simple. I hope that there are people like myself in the world who work a 9-5 ( more like 7-3) and experience an endless supply of problems that the universe decides to drop square in my lap. People need to know that they are not alone in their struggle for survival as working class. We all share the same problems be it family, money issues, or health. Lets get after it and if it gets heated, well lets hear your opinion!

Let Me Explain.

What the hell is the site name and domain name about? Well, let me explain. If you’ve ever watched the movie A Bronx Tale directed by Robert Di Niro, based on the screen play by Chazz Palminteri, you will get it. There’s a particular scene in the movie that captures the essence of Theworkingmanisthetoughguy.wordpress.com. Lets set it up: A young boy, Calogero or (C as a nickname) living in the Bronx with his mother and father, is surrounded by organized crime, or mafia, or la Cosa Nostra, whatever you want to call it. He meets the “boss” Sonny who reveals his life of crime to the boy and quickly becomes enamored with Sonny. While Sonny looks at Calogero as a son, the boys real father, Lorenzo does not approve of his son hanging out with gang-bangers. Lorenzo, is a bus driver and epitomizes the working-class man.

As you can Imagine the boy and Sonny continue to see each other in secret, when it comes to a head. Lorenzo finds Calogero’s stash of money that he earned, in tips, hanging out with the gangsters and looses his shit. The amount of money the boy had stashed was equal to a weeks pay for Lorenzo. This is where it goes down. Calogero tells his father that “Sonny said” that “the working man is a sucker” to which Lorenzo replies “It don’t take much strength to pull a trigger but try getting up every morning day after day and work for a living, lets see him try that, then we’ll see who the real tough guy is, the working man is the real tough guy“. And boom there you have it.

Being of Italian decent, I grew up in New York City and have seen this type gangster lifestyle first hand. As a nearly 40 year old man I still see it. Although I see, it i don’t concede to it. On the contrary, I, like my father, his father, my mother, and so on, were working class people. My family rode that large speed boat to Ellis Island in the early 20th century to a life of poverty here in the U.S.A. They were able to make a respectable life for themselves WORKING!! Oh Jeez Louise, if that leaves a bad taste in your mouth then you should probably leave, this isn’t for you. I attribute everything I have in my life to my job; money, a house, family, cars, and even the fleeting pension.

My Mission Statement

Theworkingmanisthetoughguy.wordpress.com is dedicated to the exploration, analysis, and discussion of the life of the working class individual as well as sharing the collective wisdom of our experiences.

No one said it is going to be serious! Constructive arguments and disagreements are definitely encouraged. We welcome all opinions within reason. If you feel the need to call me an idiot, go for it!

Some promises;

  1. There is no place for Racism. We can address race relations from a factual manner only
  2. There is no place for extreme political views. Stick to the facts and issues, and leave your hateful politics at the door, DAMMIT! Not sure why I’m angry already.
  3. There will be bad language. As long as it is not aimed at another person, because guess what even if you don’t believe it, we are all people struggling to survive.
  4. Possibly most important, I will make mistakes. I’m not great at writing, hosting a website, moderating, spelling, math the English language so for fuck’s sake give me a break.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

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