Reading about this Chicago Teacher’s Union (CTU) strike makes me upset. From my general understanding the teachers are fed up with teaching conditions such as overcrowding and not enough teaching supplies/books. Correct me if I’m wrong.
Yesterday one of the nation’s largest school districts went on strike. The goal of a school system is to educate children. Regardless of the outcome of this strike the biggest loser here are the children. We have failed them. They have been caught in the crossfire of adult issues. I understand that teachers need and want more to educate these children but this is not the answer and the real issue is being circumvented.
In a city that is being plagued by violence and a higher than average rate of teen murders having children not in school is alarming. A lot of parents who use school as a means to store their children in a safe place while they work will have to find an alternative. Parents who use the school system as a means to feed their children two meals a day will have to find another way to feed their children.
While we’re on the subject of parents (although I’m not one) I know that they are not completely absolved in this situation. Chicago is a microcosm of what is occurring nationwide. Teachers are educators, parents, counselors and nurses all at the same time. They shouldn’t be charged with being the main influence and teacher in a child’s life. That responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of parents. If anything the job of a parent should be supplemented by teachers. Parents should be invested in their child’s future. In my opinion parents across America are failing miserably at this job as well.
I also blame (don’t worry there’s enough blame to go around) our government. With budget cuts at the local and state levels quality teachers are forced to do their job (a significant one at that) on meager salaries. This pressures teachers into other professions and leaves a lot of students on the hands of under qualified and/or unmotivated educators. I saw a quote somewhere yesterday that said “85% of teachers are women. No wonder the profession is under valued.”
Although the children are the biggest losers here they are not all free of blame. You can’t teach a person who isn’t motivated to learn. Perhaps I’m from a different generation but I enjoyed learned. I didn’t always like everything about school but I still yearned to know more.
I hope that this teacher’s strike can be resolved soon because after all the children are our future, aren’t they? As a person who is interested in making a career change to education situations like this don’t deter me, they only strengthen my resolve to change things.