Friday, March 04, 2011

In Support of Wisconsin And The Rest Of America's Public School Teachers

Jon Stewart did a brilliant job on this take on Teacher pay versus Wall Street executive pay.   Teachers should be as valuable, if not more, to our society than the money boys on Wall Street.

One commentator made note that teachers work nine months out of the year and aren't there in the summers. Its true.  What they don't say is that many teachers spend their summers going back to school to further their professional education in the teaching fields.  They're getting their masters and doctorates.  They're refining their knowledge, they're learning newer methods for teaching and they're learning about changes to local and state laws may impact what and how they teach in the classroom.  Some teachers spend summer education time getting certified in health care services to help with special needs students as more schools lose school nurses due to budget cut backs.  What teacher enters the teaching field thinking "oh, I'm gonna be giving insulin injections to my diabetic students!" or "Wow, I get to help do a tube feeding during lunch." ???  The state does NOT pay for that ongoing education.  The teachers pay for it out of their own pockets... out of the money they save out of those previous nine months earnings.

Other teachers spend their summers working to acquire the school supplies their students will need for the following school year.  Stocking up pencils, pens, reams of notebook paper, binders, and even classic books appropriate to grade level is on their agenda.  Budget cut backs in the schools have forced them into that, even though they know that there is a group in each school whose parents are so poor their parents simply can't afford to buy those school supplies.  Again, the schools are not paying the teachers to do that for their students.   Some of those same teachers spearhead clothing drives - again for the sake of poor kids - so that they have clothing that is acceptable to wear in school.

Still other teachers spend their time researching and writing to obtain grant money to keep science, math and music and even physical education in their schools because states budgets don't provide for them in too many places!  They do it because they know it is proven that music and art help students learn better in math and science even from the start and over the long term.

Let us not forget the teachers who spend their summers in summer school teaching the kids who've fallen behind or failed their classes due to lack of parental support and involvement in their child's educations.  While there are some parents who're indifferent to whether Johnny or Suzie learn anything, there are other parents whose support is missing because they're working two to three jobs apiece to make ends meet in this topsy turvy world where their labors go more toward supporting tax breaks for corporations and the very wealthy.

Let me tell you:  YOUR states are NOT paying teachers to do these things during the three months between school years.  Not a single damned penny our of your tax dollars (and theirs since teacher pay IS taxable income) supports all that summer work and development!  Your states are getting a deal paying those $50K year salaries with benefits.

So yes... watch and enjoy Stewart skewering the talking heads on the right who want to keep cheating you, your kids and your society out of decent educations by cheating the teachers who already work for a pittance compared to the six and seven and eight figure incomes of Wall Street and other corporate executives.

Thank you Mrs. Weeks, Mrs. Truedell, Mr. Fishbeck, Sr. Marie Vianney, Sr. Marie Gonzaga, Mrs. Martinez, Mr. Paskiewicz,  Mrs Getz, Mrs. King,  Principle Neal, Mr. Go, Mrs. Martin, Mr. De Llameter, Mrs. Charon, Ms. Civerolo, Principal Rounds, Miss Giffen, Mrs. Magee,  Mr. Dennis.  It was you, amongst others, who gave me the foundation with which I could later study at UNM with the likes of Prof. Bock, Prof. Berthold, Prof. Johnson, Prof. Weigle, Prof. Harris, Simon Ortiz, Prof. Geary, Prof. Slaughter, Prof. Huaco, Prof. McNamara and more.   I am grateful.

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