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June 13, 2012

Chicago Teachers Really Think They're Something Special

I remember certain teachers from my childhood as especially kind and decent people. Some of them, not so much.

But overall, I remember them as human beings, and not a priestly caste whose demands must be elevated above the needs of all other members of society.

There is indeed a limit to what people can comfortably pay for their services.

And, frankly? You do not need to be a brainiac to teach math to eight year olds. Much of what teachers do consists of fairly mundane skill sets. This is why you or I can do this at home if we decide to, with pretty good results.

Yes; great teachers make a difference in students' lives. Yes; we believe that the people who teach the future generations should be compensated fairly. No; we do not believe that teachers are more important than every other member of society.

To what can we attribute this strange idea, that teaching children is so exalted a career? It's ridiculous. Lots of people work very hard and you don't hear them crying about how special they are or exhibiting high dudgeon every time they are asked to do more. The world changes; fortunes are altered. We soldier on, because that's what people do. Working with children does not make you better than other people or grant you immunity from a bad economy. It's just a job, with its own peculiar challenges, like lots of other tough jobs with their attendant difficulties. Sweet Jesus Almighty. Get over yourselves.

What I'm trying to say, teachers: we do love you. And yet, you are so replaceable. What we feel for you, we will feel for your replacements. Who hopefully won't have this big chip on their shoulder. So, ultimately I guess, we would like your replacements even better than we like you.

Other people, they can do what you do. And also, lots of other people would really be grateful for your jobs right now. These people would make better public employees than you, because 1) they are capable of teaching children, and 2) they don't have the attitude problem.

There's this saying that 'no one is indispensable.' But at this point in time, right NOW, is exactly when your replaceability is peaking.

This is when you choose to throw your fit? Have you heard of Wisconsin?

There are fewer taxpayers now than there used to be; so many of the remaining middle-class taxpayers are treading the edge of a cliff and are unable to pay, and so many people want your jobs right now, that what you are doing is akin to waving a red flag before a bull.

Even liberal Democrats can do the math.

How about trying to work with us, in a time of devastating financial crisis, instead of blowing up and throwing staplers around when you are asked to work more for the same pay?

Oh, no?

OK. Enjoy your trip to the private sector. I believe your stay will prove quite educational.

Remember this charmer?

Thanks to Dave In Texas.

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posted by Laura. at 11:44 AM

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