Teachers Fighting False Perceptions

History of Teachers StrikingOver the last few weeks I continue to have the same thought. Teachers if they are going to ever get the respect they deserve are going to have to get pro-active in changing the public’s view of them and the work they do. My original thought was that a national leader would have to emerge that would coordinate nationwide teacher strikes so that communities could learn what would happen if people stopped deciding to be teachers. Then this morning I came across a story out of Livonia. It is reported that teachers there decided to hold a “grade in” sort of event at a local mall. The purpose of this event was to demonstrate to the public that a teacher’s work day does not end at 3 PM. Read more of this post

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Layoff Notices for Teachers in Detroit

School BusToday Detroit’s manager sent out layoff notices to 5,466 teachers. In addition 250 administrators are also being notified of lay offs as well.

The district is unlikely to eliminate all the teachers. Last year, it sent out 2,000 notices and only a fraction of employees were actually laid off. But the notices are required by the union’s current contract with the district. Any layoffs under this latest action won’t take effect until late July. No matter how many teachers lose their jobs this is just another example that many states are deciding that the budget issues should be corrected by eliminating resources for children.

It amazes me that so many people talk about how important the children are to us as  s society, and then we decide that the best place to cut budgets are in the services for children. Obviously teachers are over paid. Obviously teachers do not have to work hard. Everyone knows that teachers jobs is really just working like 5 hours a day and then they take off like 4 months a year. We don’t ask them to really try and it is their fault that the economy is in bad shape.

The other thing that is so confusing is that people who are not in unions are so anxious for the teachers unions to go away. They think that union workers get too many benefits and too much pay. How about instead of wanting other people getting less why don’t they collectively bargain better pay and benefits for their jobs?

California Teachers Union Looking at Large Lay Offs

As teachers look at options for careers outside of a classroom it is clear that getting a Masters Degree in Education; at least today, is not the best choice. Today getting a masters in curriculum or administration might be the way to go. This way if the career in education stalls during these economic times a move into the private sector might be easier. Becoming a training expert for a private company, or finding work in government developing plans on how to do more with less are becoming possibly the best options.
clipped from www.msnbc.msn.com

Union: 19K teacher layoff slips so far in Calif

School districts in California have issued nearly 19,000 layoff notices so far to teachers amid uncertainty over the state budget, the California Teachers Association estimated Tuesday.

The union announced its estimate of preliminary notices on the day school districts must let employees know they could lose their jobs.
Some districts had yet to fully report how many warnings had been distributed as they prepare for worst-case budget scenarios. The union said it expects to have a final count Friday.
Its early estimate includes almost 500 school employees in San Francisco, 540 in Oakland, nearly 900 in San Diego, and about 5,000 educators in Los Angeles.
The situation is not unique to California. School districts throughout the country are warning of cutbacks involving teacher and other employees, as state legislatures seek to close massive budget shortfalls by cutting education spending.

Teacher and Public Unions Have a Bad Day

Because of how laws have been set up over the last 30 years getting a union ratified is no easy task now. That is what makes the breaking of unions so important to conservatives. Teachers do not just bargain for vacations in the Caribbean, the color of their BMW’s, and all the other perks they get. They also bargain for different school programs such as the arts, sports, and other programs that benefit students. Yesterday was a bad day for students maybe even more than for teachers.
clipped from www.usnews.com

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and His Allies Drop All Pretenses
There’s a sports saying that comes up whenever a player signs a huge, multimillion dollar megadeal: When they say it’s not about the money, it’s about the money. A similar principle holds true in politics. When a politician says that something is just about the budget and not about grinding ideological axes, it’s really grinding ideological axes. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and his allies on the right made that abundantly clear on Wednesday when the state legislature passed Walker’s “budget-repair bill” stripped of its budgetary pretenses leaving only its union-busting ideological nub.
How to break the impasse? Simple: Drop the pretense that this was about the budget. They stripped out all the actual fiscal items from the law and hastily passed a bill that simply went after the unions.
This was just the final step in removing any doubt about the true nature of this fight.

Teachers Facing Scorn

What has amazed me for some time is that non-union people think that the answer is to make teachers and other union employees have to live with the same conditions that they live with. That bringing down unions is the fair thing to do. It seems to me that these people ought to be in the streets demanding that they should be treated better. After all that is how unions made the 40 hour work week possible, paid vacation, retirement, and the rest most take for granted. Once unions won those things non-union companies to get good employees had to offer the same things. Why is that not happening now I wonder.
clipped from www.msnbc.msn.com

Teachers wonder, why the scorn?

Cushy jobs? Glorified baby sitters? Educators see their value to society under attack

The jabs Erin Parker has heard about her job have stunned her. Oh you pathetic teachers, read the online comments and placards of counterdemonstrators. You are glorified baby sitters who leave work at 3 p.m. You deserve minimum wage.

Ms. Parker, a second-year teacher making $36,000, fears that under the proposed legislation class sizes would rise and higher contributions to her benefits would knock her out of the middle class.
“I love teaching, but I have $26,000 of student debt,” she said. “I’m 30 years old, and I can’t save up enough for a down payment” for a house. Nor does she own a car. She is making plans to move to Colorado, where she could afford to keep teaching by living with her parents.

John Stewart – Teachers are the Problem

As Mr. Stewart describes – teachers are obviously the problem with the economy in America. The thing about America is that we are happiest when there is an easy target to blame for all the ills of society.

Teacher Unions and Preparing for the Future

Over the past few months and the last few days there have been large headlines and many high profile fights brewing over the role of public employees and how their compensation should be measured against that of private workers. To be sure there can be valid arguments made that while a country, state, or municipality is suffering budget issues that public employees would have to make adjustments to salary, furloughs, benefit packages, or pension plans.  Teachers and other public employees will correctly say that over the past fifteen years in negotiating their contracts that concessions were made concerning short term gains in exchange for better pension plans that are now under assault. There is very little a lone teacher can do to fight against these winds of change which means that a teacher’s best option is to do the best they can to prepare for what these changes could mean to the career path they have chosen.

For years teachers had achieved additional standing and compensation by gains a Masters Degree. In the past this was a negotiated salary increase that was built into collective bargaining agreements with the state or city. Now many teachers are considering not continuing their education because the financial payoff within their chosen career might not be realized. While this may be true with plain Masters Degrees in Education, that is not the case with teachers who get a Masters of Administration, or Masters of Curriculum and Instruction.

Masters Degree such as these can not only prepare a teacher to prosper within the teaching profession, it also offers teachers a range of career options both within the field of education, and also in the private sector. These Masters Degrees can help teachers transfer from a classroom work environment into a many other opportunities.

Higher education, Human Resources, Corporate Training, and even Museum Curator are all career opportunities that can become options to teachers with the correct education. This does not even include the option of moving into a more administrative role within the education field. Principal, assistant principal and other fields in the administration of public and private schools become realistic career options.

So while the politicos and cable TV speaking heads go on and on about the future for public employees, now is not a bad time to make sure teachers prepare themselves for an uncertain future. In any other career be it technology or the law, professionals must make adjustments to changes in the market. If teaching is going to become an even less respected, and less compensated field in which to earn a living in the next few years, teachers, just like RPG programmers learned HTML and Java over the last decade will have to prepare to the changing market.