Critics trumpet that a teacher strike in Chicago is bad for kids. Critics do this after consistently demeaning the skills of our teachers, moaning about our failing educational systems, advocating lock step test-driven curriculums, standards, and on task on time rules that deny teachers the proper use of their professional skills. Critics are now even going so far as to blame our failing society on the educational system instead of correctly blaming our educational problems on a failing society.
Now after trashing the teaching profession for over 10 years under the NCLB and advocating cuts in teacher’s pay and benefits everyone wonders cluelessly how and why teachers would strike and “harm the children”.
Teacher’s psyches run on affirmation, teachers know that when students receive no honest and earned affirmation they give you little in return. When we withhold affirmation and deny the professionalism of our great teachers,or any employee for that matter, and treat them solely as hourly employees can we expect that they will not act as hourly employees as well?
As to the strike in Chicago is it possible that the tipping point has been reached and teacher’s in Chicago ravaged by the press, the public, and the government over the past 10 years no longer care what anyone thinks. I hope this is not true but it seems to be a possibility and if it is true and trend-setting then we need not ask for “whom the bell tolls,” for it is tolling for our public schools.