Back when I was a novice teacher in swaddling clothes, a grizzly veteran sat me down on his knee and taught me a lesson I would never forget. "Little Teacher Boy," he growled, "listen well to Old Papa Pedagogue: When Administration says, 'It's all about putting the children first,' what they really mean is, 'SCREW THE TEACHERS.'"
Papa Pedagogue's words have always proven true, although I have rarely seen them in print. Even when this new-fangled internet gizmo came along, and ink went the way of the buggy-whip, one can Google-search for a mighty long time and hardly find an author who states Old Papa's words of truth.
The dry spell is over, however. That great crusading journal, The Los Angeles Times, has learned that which Old Papa taught me lo those many years ago. Here's what the Times writes about the Chicago teachers' strike:
For the full article, click here.
The administration can talk about this being all for children, but there's a vested interest in hiring younger, less experienced and thus much less expensive teachers. That might be good for school budgets, but it's not good for the future of the teaching profession or the long-term future of schools. If teachers have no job protection over time, if in fact their very experience counts against them, the job becomes just that -- more a job, less a career. That's not how we attract bright young people to the profession. Layoffs don't necessarily happen because a teacher is bad, and yet those teachers could be permanently out of jobs while principals bring in new people. How much loyalty can teachers have to a system like that?