Chicago teachers are striking today. Some odd and silly quotes are coming from various people around town there. Makes you wonder what people really think of classroom teachers.
Many quotes seem to be from parents, wondering what in the world they are going to do with their children if there is no school. Like the public school system exists to be one big glorified daycare service. Is it the public schools job to provide something for your kid to do while you work?
Then there's talk of opening up churches and other venues to drop kids off at. Like that's the same as school?
I even heard that some schools were going to be open for half-days, letting kids do things like puzzles.
Is that what people think teachers do? Play with kids all day long?
I have heard from some teachers, especially kindergarten teachers, that people tell them it must be nice to play all day.
Anyone in the classroom knows that teaching is not fun and games. Professional teachers make it look easy. And fun. But being a teacher is one of the hardest jobs in the world.
Getting back to the teachers strike. Does it do your students good to miss a day of school? Each day out is one day lost. These kids cannot go back in time. They get one shot at a public education.
This is not for or against the strike. It's a balance. Can't the smart people running the schools, and teaching, come up with a way to settle their differences WITHOUT a teacher stepping out of a classroom? You step out of your classroom. What does that get the kids?
We are not talking about what perks or pay teachers should or not get. Or state rules. We are talking about the fact that the regular teacher being out of the classroom cannot be good. For anybody. You can't make up those lost day.