Teachers aren’t the enemy

From Chris Christie wanting to punch the teachers union in the face to John Kasich‘s desire to get rid of teachers unions the teaching profession is under attack by bullies. It isn’t just the politicians that want to use the teaching profession as a whipping post, non-profits like The 74 and The Mackinac Center regularly take jabs at teachers under the premise of educational reform. Teachers are becoming afraid to share their voice due to the constant attacks. Fewer teachers are now drawn to the profession. Teachers are afraid to share their voice due to abuse. Where will it end?

Teachers are not the enemy to educational reform, we are the solution. Without high quality dedicated teachers, schools would not exist. Think tanks like to spend piles of money to break up teachers unions and belittle the profession. WHY? Wouldn’t their money be better spent in building up the teaching profession? How about opening a model school and see how their policies would make education better? It doesn’t happen because their solutions are short term, focused on saving money on teacher pay not creating a better system. The best educational systems exist where teachers feel valued and have a role in decision making.

The Mackinac Center under the pseudonym Capitol Confidential likes to constantly badger teachers sharing their voice. In a recent post “Teachers Making Over $80,000 need second job to pay bill” the center just wants to focus on pay of teachers. The article is quick to point out that teachers work 184.5 days and 7 hours per day. Lets start with the hours: NO teacher works bell to bell it is impossible to do so, most effective teachers work 3 to 4 hours beyond the bells. Next, no teacher only works the district calendar. Just stop by a school in the weeks before or after the school year and see who is there, most teachers. Sure, eighty thousand should like a good amount of money but few teachers make this salary. The state average is $57,000 and that number has been going down. Starting teachers make less, Average starting teachers salary statewide is $35,000. Remember these teachers have students loans to pay off, taxes, pensions, health care, homes and families to pay for. Yes, teachers are struggling just like many in our country.

If the Mackinac Center were a student in our schools they would be written up for bulling behavior under state bullying laws. It has been repeated and constant. Educators share their story, Mackinac Center attacks, in the name of school reform. Stop the bullying. Focus on being a positive voice not an attacking one. Focus on helping teachers not beating use up.

We are not the enemy you are looking for. Your public bullying behavior makes our job harder. If a public group like Mackinac Center can bully, why can’t our students?

Teachers aren’t the enemy, they are doing the best we can in the world we live in. Schools are a reflection of our society. Education reform should be about making our society better, so our schools reflect it.

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