When did teachers become so afraid?
When did we decide being micromanaged, marginalized and disrespected was better than the alternative?
When did we decide testing our kids to death, or forcing a curriculum on them that we know is developmentally inappropriate or doesn't address their needs is okay as long as we have a steady pay check?
When did we decide that our silence was required and our opinions no longer mattered?
When did we decide it was okay to sacrifice times with our family and friends so we can work for free because the system gives us more than we can possibly do while at work?
When dd we become so afraid and all this became okay and is it all really better than the alternative?
I'm not saying we should throw up our hands and quit. Instead I am saying that if we stopped being afraid then we can make things better. The crazy thing is right now teachers have the power. Florida recently declared a critical shortage in just about every teaching position.
We need to stop working for free, from the first bell to quitting time give an honest effort but after that leave it at work. If enough teachers did that then this alone would send a big enough signal that things need to change.
Then we need to write letters to the editor and op eds, we have to let people know and I sincerely believe if they did that would demand better.
It's also past time that people who were never in the classroom or were in it a long time ago dictated to professionals and that instead the people that know what is best for their kids ran the show.
To do that we have to elect school board members and state legislators that understand what it is to be a teacher and what our kids need and we have to understand that often these are the people who are going to get the least in donations and news coverage. We can keep electing people with the biggest bank accounts who often blame teachers and who would dismantle our schools.
Then we have to stop being afraid. The life many teachers are leading is not better than the alternative.
I will be honest there may be consequences for doing and saying the right things but if enough of us do it then there will be rewards as well.