Not A Good Lesson

| September 11, 2012 | Comments (49)

As a union member within my capacity as a law enforcement officer, I applaud negotiations. I am all for fair wages, healthcare and accountability in the workplace. I am all for getting a raise! What I am angry about, involving this Chicago Teacher Union Strike, is the claim that this “is for the kids“. It says, without saying, “If I am happy, your kids will be happy.” That is a fair assessment and may even be true, but children being educated is a natural born right. Any interference therein is an abomination. Period.

Children belong in the classroom, not on the Chicago streets as target practice.

Has everyone forgotten we are in the throws of a horrible spike in gun violence?

The displays of signage where there is name-calling, derogatory commentary about Mayor Rahm Emanuel or other officials, is juvenile and points directly to what is wrong in our violent city. Where is the professionalism? The taunting, the strike lines where the kids are participating holding up vile sayings, further perpetuates the “Tail-gate” mentality so alive here in Chicago. These debates have become classless and negate what we are trying to teach the kids regarding conflict resolution. The CTU’s vs The Chicago Public Schools is not a homecoming game or a Superbowl. There are real consequences here. Seniors who might be late turning in final transcripts, missing scholarships opportunities or worse, not being prepared for ACT/SAT, playing games and missing scouts, stats, and offers!

As I drove home down Laramie at Harrison, on Chicago’s disenfranchised West Side … you know, the side of town where no one is considering them in these talks. Where crime rates are extremely high, where my caseload bubbles at the seams, and where kids truly rely on education to propel them from their circumstances, I saw at least 10 young men on the CPS fields attempting some semblance of practicing football. They had their formations, hut and the ball would sail, only to have no one else there to direct them and give them what they need right now, which is help and incentive, tools and guidelines to grow. Where, on the West Side, can those who want to test new theory or engage in intellectual conversation simulate their plays? These kids deserve better.

The Chicago Moms participated in a conference call with Barbara Byrd-Bennett, Chief Education Advisor this morning with an open mind, in the hope that my own personal distaste for the strike would be dispelled. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on where you stand, our conversation only re-affirmed my belief that this strike is detrimental on so many levels.

Reading is fundamental¬†(just had to throw that in) and in receiving several press emails aimed at getting Chicago’s Teacher’s Union’s message out, I learned a lot. In particular, yesterday Stacie Davis Gates, Political Activities, of CTU emailed me the major points still outstanding: Pay Fairness, Protect our benefits, Fair Evaluation Procedure, Teacher Training, Timetable for air conditioning, Fair recall procedure for laid off teachers and Fair compensation for a longer school year.

So, in our conference call with Ms. Byrd-Bennett, I was happy to see her take all of these issues to task, many without being prompted! Teachers will obviously be compensated with what budget allows for and with benefits. The Fair Evaluation, we learned, is an issue that both parties previously negotiated on in 90 hours of meetings! This evaluation is based on a state mandate known as PARA (Performance Evaluation Reform Act 2010). This process is an ongoing, collaborative, 5 year process. Do children have to be out of school as this mandate plays out?

Chicago Public Schools stance is that there will be no willingness to lower the calibration that determines standard. The Charlotte Danielson rubric is based on research, not Rahm, as propaganda in the news might lead us to believe. Giving principals autonomy to hire is being disputed by CTU. Do our kids really need to be at the receiving end of this argument?

“Proficiency and excellence” as Ms. Byrd-Bennett exclaimed is a core belief of many parents and staff alike, as well as, I am sure, by the members of the CTU. So let us all pipe down the rhetoric, the name-calling and street mentality that some are using to showcase their anger and frustration about what is going on in our education system. Do it for our kids. Show them how we would all like to see them behaving the next time they have a dispute or are even at a sporting event or game. The display I saw, while beautiful because of the numbers, lacked class. Failing to accomplish a vision, that we can all applaud, simply affirms that even more kids will end up in the criminal justice system where I am employed, and believe me, no one wants that.

 

 

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Category: #CTUstrike, Chicago, New Posts

About Dwana: Dwana authors a few blogs, is a full-time officer of the court and mom to two wonderful young men and two dogs. You can find her rants, advice for healthy living and Chicago tips at: "Healthier, Happier, You!", Chicagonista.com, TheChicagoMoms.com & ChicagonistaLIVE.com View author profile.

Comments (49)

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  1. Linda says:

    I was a student in classrooms for many years. Then I became a parent to children who were in the classroom for several years. I went to teaching college and interned in several different schools. Next, I substituted short-term and long-term in many different schools. Finally, I had my first class from the start of school to the end of school that was my own. It was in a poverty stricken area. Then I truly learned what being a teacher was all about. And I also learned what needs to improve. This is what the CTU is fighting for. They are fighting for true improvement in our schools.

  2. Dwana says:

    Linda, yes, I get and applaud fighting for “true improvement” in our schools but not at the expense of students. This is a hostage situation and it needs to end now. No one but the kids are being hurt. Teachers may be inconvenienced, and short on funds but the children are losing big-time.

    • Rachelle Cirrintano says:

      I just want to say that out in the real world parents are frustrated with this system. I stand by my comment to Chicago Tribune, “they should all be let go”. I know that the teachers had many issued but our children are really missing out. This is not the civil rights movement here. Let the representatives work it out. Please return to work the families support you on issues what we do not like is that the kids are loosing out. Rahm should stand by his words and should have ordered the teachers to work while these issues are negotiated. Teachers are supposed to teach. The economy is bad. Who gets 16% raise in this economy? People have lots jobs over this strike. Parents have spent a lot of money over this strike. Kids have lost valuable time in learning over this strike. Teachers are losing respect over this strike. Go back to school – teachers.

  3. Lou says:

    Interesting…..Then maybe you should be off the blog scene and do your job protecting our kids…wait your bio states that you are an officer in the courts. So you are a pretend law enforcer with a badge and job but never in action of what true CPD do. Those who can, TEACH, those who can’t write terrible blogs about stuff they don’t really know…i.e…YOU.

  4. Dwana says:

    Lou, your mean-spirited commentary is EXACTLY what I was referring to! Way to go giving me a great example of “Tail-gate” mentality. These circumstances are unfortunately no game.

    As a product of CPS, I am very versed in what I am talking about and really don’t need you telling me what I can and cannot do, i.e. BLOGGING. Furthermore, as a taxpayer I am entitled to my opinion, which is, I agree with the demands just not striking. AND I could do without vitriol LIKE YOURS.

    There is nothing pretend about my job. My badge is real and I supervise REAL felons, out of REAL courtrooms, and many of them are students of CPS.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    • MJ Tam says:

      Dwana,

      Well put! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

    • liesel says:

      I think Lou may be one of those that you have been asked to supervise.

      A fair deal was put on the table. Or at least one that negotiations could be continued while the kids stayed in school. It was pretty clear that Karen Lewis’s agenda was national attention to labor strife, so the strike was inevitable. CTU membership wants a “fair contract”. What was put forth was fair, maybe not great but a very good starting point. So why strike? Cause it is a means to national exposure. So much for the kids, or the parents.

      Additionally as a cps parent (and former cps student), I have seen more lousy teachers than good ones. This strike insures that the lousy ones get to stay. Schools won’t improve if the same teachers are in place. Now they will have more money, more health benefits and more time to enjoy.

  5. Shari says:

    In last Sunday’s Chicago Sun Times a story noted that Karen Lewis’ role model was Jackie Vaughn. It also noted that Karen felt “exhilarated” when she walked the picket line with her parents during a previous CPS strike. As soon as I read this I knew there would be a long, nasty strike.

    The CTU problem is their messages are inconsistent and incoherent. When JC Brizarad doesn’t show up for negotiations the CTU feels “disrespected.” Yesterday a reporter asked Lewis why she wasn’t at the negotiating table and she said it wasn’t about her because there was a team. Which is it? Either leadership needs to be there or not. Different CTU leaders answer the same questions which competing responses. No one at CTU seems to have a message — or if they do no one is on message.

    Also, Lewis is spending a lot of time laughing and smiling and having a good time. She doesn’t seem to realize this is a crisis. Given her previous statement, it’s clear she still feels exhilarated by a strike. The problem is she seems to think it’s a party which is bonding all the CTU members together rather than a serious labor issue.

  6. Amy says:

    What you are seeing is few and far between. I am a Chicago Public School teacher and see none of that. Chicago kids deserve better schools.

    • Shari says:

      We agree that the kids deserve better schools. The disconnect is that CTU doesn’t explain how what they want will result in a better education.

      • Marcia Williams says:

        They have Shari. Have you been reading the papers? In fact 66% from the poll taken by, “We Ask America”parents who have children in public schools like the plan that C.T.U has put in place as well supporting teachers who have taken to the streets to protest working conditions and other concerns. What CPS did was just say that they wanted a longer school day. Many columnist across the nation including the Sun-Times have said to CPS, “Where’s the plan for the longer school day?” CPS extended the longer day and we have had nothing but chaos in the schools. Principals are winging it to make it a bit efficent but, it’s a mess. CPS extended the day but gave schools no more money to make it a quality school day. Walk into a school and stay a day. You’ll see what we are talking about.

        • I find it interesting that so many people assume that those commenting have never spent a day in a school. In fact, I spend a lot of time in different schools in different districts. Even in your reply, Marcia, you don’t explain how giving teachers more job security, higher pay, etc. will improve education. All I hear from CTU is “we want this” or “we want that” over and over again. I never hear how better teacher benefits will improve the education of our children.

          Yesterday on the Channel 7 news at 11:00 a.m. teachers on the picket line were interviewed. Not one spoke about the children. I heard things like “We’re unified.” Ok, that’s nice. How does CTU being unified improve education in Chicago?

  7. Amen. Our local elementary district has worked without a ratified contract for several years. They insist they will NOT strike because they need to be there for the kids. We aren’t CPS but we are in a poverty ridden area, keeping the kids in schools is a safety issue here too and the teachers get that. Teaching isn’t easy. I wouldn’t/couldn’t do it. I do all I can to support my kids teachers individually even though my kids are described as ‘ideal students’ because I appreciate what they do. I do believe our teachers need to be paid more but in an economy where no one else is getting pay increases, are taking decreases in benefits to keep their job or simply losing there job, everyone needs to realize that sacrifices have to be made.
    As far as the poor example being made by those on the picket lines…I know its very possible those people aren’t CPS teachers. I saw the calls the union put out for bodies when they were on strike here. Some even paid to be there. But regardless its still an embarrassment to the city. If they want to be taken seriously they need to behave as such. Don’t claim to wanting to BE bullied while showing off loudly how much of a bully ARE.

    • Dwana says:

      Lisa,

      That is something to consider that they were just reps of the striking teachers or CTU. I have been answering a lot about my views, which I feel I am entitled to, and have been “bullied” a tad bit on twitter by CTU supporters and members and have learned quite a bit about our system and how it impacts our kids. So, if nothing else, we have all learned a lot about ourselves, our community and hopefully we can ensure this madness never happens again.

  8. Marcia Williams says:

    I’m just fascinated on how anyone who has never stepped foot inside of a classroom except when they were once a student themselves have so much to say on what should happened and why teachers and CTU should or shouldn’t do certain things. It takes a lot of ego and self importance to offer such advice.

    This is what’s missing in this flawed opinion on what teachers should do in trying to explained how the world will turn against teachers if we don’t play as though we are one of the subjects from the book and movie, “The Help”, you know, “the hire help” who take care of other people’s children while own children have to settle for a few precious moments with their own moms. First of all, teachers were in the classrooms while negotiations were taking place between CPS and C.T.U. when they began last November. We were teaching our students before the winter break in the month of December. We worked and taught our students from the months of January and June and Track E teachers and other staff came back to work without a contract in August and worked 4 additional weeks. Even though our mayor and a bunch self interested thugs came along and presented the illusion that they want education “reform” by strong arming our state legislators in crafting a bill that would in essence punish teachers for being teacher for not solving all of society’s ills, and telling CTU that our members would have to jump the “impossible” threshold of getting 75% of our members to authorize a strike. Hope no one had any money riding on that one. CTU teachers and other staff got 98% of the members to authorize the strike. But back to the point on why the self appointed education “know it alls” feel teachers are going to be in a grave situation if we continue to be out of the classrooms.

    News Flash; This is not fun being out of our classroom. We all rather be in front of our students no matter how hard it can get, and believe me it can. We are sacrificing a lot. We are sacrificing our families’ finances and our careers but we are doing what is needed to done. We are tired of being kicked in the teeth and maligned by the press and by politicians telling us that there must be accountability. Really. You mean the accountability politicians received for doing the half way job they do for the people who voted them into office? Or how about the press who haven’t managed to prevent reporters from writing fraudulent articles with made up sources? Or how about a minority of moms and self righteousI’m just fascinated on how anyone who has never stepped foot inside of a classroom except when they were once a student themselves have so much to say on what should happened and why teachers and CTU should or shouldn’t do certain things. It takes a lot of ego and self importance to offer such advice.

    News Flash. This is not fun being out of our classroom. We all rather be in front of our students no matter how hard it can get, and believe me it can. We are sacrificing a lot. We are sacrificing our families’ finances and our careers but we are doing what is needed to done. We are tired of being maligned by the press and by politicians telling us that there must be accountability. Really. You mean the accountability politicians received for doing the half way job they do for the people who voted them into office? Or how the press has managed to prevent reporters from writing fraudulent articles with made up sources?

    Tell me, when was the last time you heard of a police station being closed or the entire staff has been removed and fresh new police ooficers have taken over that particular station or stations because the story would go that they will do a better job of combating crime? You haven’t and no one should expect that would or could happen. Police officers put their lives on the lines everyday that they are out in the street protecting everyone in the city. To me, CPD do an awesome job and should receive our undying gratitude.Law officers cannot control what is in the heart and minds of everyone’s soul that walks the streets. They cannot humanly possibly be expected to know at what hour of the day some goon will conduct a drive by killing an innocent child. These are things that are out of their control. It’s the same with teachers. However, for whatever reason, we are SUPPOSE to be able to solve all of society’s ills and make everything is all right with the world. We are to make sure that little Janey or Johnny sits up, wide eyed just waiting to be taught by a highly motivated teacher. This is to happened even though the night before, Janey saw her mother being arrested for arm robbery. Or Johnny’s brother who was shot during a drive by. Or how about the child in 3rd grade who was pulled out of the classroom because his mother has come to get him because they have been evicted from their apartment and they will now have to move into a homeless shelter. Or the 1st grader who is forced to stay home 2 to 3 times a week because his mother has him babysitting his two younger siblings. Or the 7th grader who is a drug mule for the gangs and he is making $100.00 a night. I can tell you, passing that math test or reading the next chapter from their social studies book is the least of their worries or concerns. But someway or somehow teachers are to fix it and fix it right NOW! Right?

    Teachers though knowing all of this about our students we still try with all of our heart to motivate and encourage and make our students feel that they have someone on their side and who they can count on. If they don’t pass this week’s set of tests, we tell them that they will next week because you know they are genius! They smile but you want to cry, but you don’t and you smile back. I always tell my students, “I expect great things from you.” But I know, it’s all about the test scores and teacher accountabiltiy. Got it. Is anyone being held accountable like teachers are? I need to know who they are just so I can say, “Wow! They are in the same boat we are in.”

    It’s amazing how one set of public servants are not held responsible for stopping the madness of men,like the 58% increase of shootings and murders in the city from January through June and the jump to 38% for shootings and murders from August to the beginning of September. Students were in school (or should have been) when these crimes occurred. However, another sector of public servants are not held responsible for these out of their control events but teachers are going to and are held responsible for the academic abilities of others. Hmmm. Interesting.

    Teachers are amazing people. Even with these incredible situations, we come to work everyday, being harassed and told how we must work faster and much, much harder and then told, “Oh yeah, we are not going to pay you for staying longer at the work place. We work at many schools with not enough books for our students so we have to make copies for those students who do not have a book. We buy school supplies for students who can’t get supplies for whatever reasons. We buy cases of papers so that we can run off ourselves pages and pages of “pre-testing” materials that is mandatory. We buy these things because while CPS was doling out high pay raises of 25 to 33% to the top brass because as one official so eloquently put it, “We work real hard”, along with $700-$900- taxpayers lease personal cars they have, it was cost affective to slashed the supply budgets for most CPS schools and denied our contractual pay raise of 4%.

    I need to know from you and the so called “rent a cop” and the 33 aldermen and women who signed a letter asking our union president to keep us in the classroom as CPS and CTU “hash out their concerns” how much longer should we have remained in the classroom? Until next June, 2013 or December, 2014? Our alderpersons have a lot of nerve seeing they have a law that states that they will receive a 6% raise no matter what. I need to know which public servant at City Hall have said how they have not taken their legal required pay increase and when it’s time for them to receive it they won’t take and will donate the cost of the raise to some foundation. Trust me, I won’t hold my breathe.

    Oh yeah, the Chicago Police and Firefighters have been amazing!!! They have supported us and encouraged us all the way. We love our brothers and sisters of the police department and fire department. They have our backs and we have theirs!! Count on it.

    • E Rodriguez says:

      THANK YOU!
      I have worked with teachers as an artist in residency and I have major respect for what you all do every day! Being in the classroom taught me so much about how to engage with students when they felt discouraged and how to get them back into a project.
      To say your task is Herculean is to under appreciate all you do.
      Again Thank you! as a parent and CPS alum I fully support what you are doing and also wish these phoney people would realize that they are in the city privatization cross-hairs as well.

    • Shannon Nicholas-Troncoso says:

      Ms. Williams,
      If I had the pleasure to be before you I’d take a moment to say you’ve been heard, your thoughts and experience matter…..in this virtual world what I can hope, is that you take a deep breath and know we’re all in this. It’s obvious you care about your students, your paragraph about each child and a day in the life before or after-school is heartbreaking.I vowed that once my youngest was in kindergarten, I’d get out of our north side neighborhood and volunteer at schools where parents can’t or won’t. Not only do I feel my children are being held hostage in this situation, I do as well. As a single mother, I was looking forward to the start of school so that I could return to work. Please tell me how do the citizens of Chicago make a difference for you? I ask this with this purest of intentions. I am not the mayor, I am not the union president….I am a mother and woman that wants to make the world a better place. We have to take a moment and let the anger, hurt and frustration leave our bodies; so that what crosses our lips is one of compassion and goodwill. In order for our society to survive I believe humanity is benevolent at it’s core. May grace follow you as you return to your classroom, I’m sure you’re students will feel a sense of “home” returning to your classroom.

      • Marcia Williams says:

        Thank you Shannon. You’re support and kind words mean so much. People I think forget that teachers are highly educated people. We don’t HAVE to be in a classroom. We choose to be in one. This is not only our careers but our passion. So when people are saying things like, parents are besides themselves because now they don’t have child care, I and my fellow teachers are insulted. It is never mentioned on how they are concern that their children might get behind with their lessons as though teachers aren’t concern about that as well. Teachers also have their own children enrolled in public schools. This is hard on teachers not having their own children in school, too. I have some incredible parents and appreciate what teachers do day in and day out. Thanks again Shannon!

        • I find it interesting that you note CTU parents also have children in the CPS. Of all the CTU mmembers I know personally, I can only name a single CTU member with a child in CPS. Everyone else put their children in private schools.

    • CPS parent says:

      What I get from your lengthy post is that some teachers have to deal with very difficult situations and are very angry about it. Teachers feel disrepected and belive they are being treated unfairly. I get all of that. What I didn’t get was how any of the CTU demands are going to make life any better for that troubled and challenged student. Are we to believe that if teachers recieved everything they are demanding, the family life of those kids will get better and now they will be able to focus on learning?

      Let’s be real – nothing that the CTU is demanding will significantly improve school performance, change the lives of the students or promote progressive school reform. The strike is just about the teachers and what you feel are fair working terms. And that’s okay but stop using my kids as pawns by saying you’re fighting for their interest and aknowledge the damage and frustration that this strike is causing to all the kids and parents who were relying on you to be in the classroom.

    • LaTrice says:

      Great job Marcia!!!

    • Shari says:

      The combative tone of your message is the problem with CTU. It’s “US AGAINST THE WORLD” rather than any attempt at collaboration. Lots of people are involved in trying to help CPS students, even if they don’t show up in your official CTU org chart. The fact that you mock anyone who doesn’t blindly support CTU shows a bunker mentality.

      The real problem I have is that the CTU acts like victims and martyrs when discussing the serious, deep-rooted problems. Why do you think these are only in Chicago? You think Robbins doesn’t have similar problems? You think Aurora teachers don’t face these issues in certain areas? You think Markham isn’t struggling too? Why isn’t there some collaboration between all these teachers unions to try to come up with ways to help all these children?

      I have yet to hear how what CTU wants will improve education in CPS. I cannot remember a moment when CTU actually talked about the children. All I hear is how CTU is worried about its members. Someone needs to explain to me how what CTU wants improves education. Until then I’ll continue to view all CTU communications with a healthy skepticism.

      • Frustrated CPS Teacher says:

        Really, the combative tone? If you never had a voice, ever, you would be shouting from the rooftops, as well. If you were a teacher, you would understand with complete clarity, what a battle this is. People with your misguided ideas and negative attitude make me feel like I have to defend myself. There have been so many bitter remarks and mistruths and anger thrust at the teachers that I never knew existed that it was actually heartbreaking to many us. We would talk on the picket lines about how surprised we were that seemingly intelligent people had so many misconceptions about teachers and teaching in general. How the media produced lie upon lie was something I thought was against the ethical code of reporting. Frightening, really. I would listen to talk radio and the reckless comments about my salary, benefits, paid, yes, I said, paid summer vacation. All lies and misconceptions. I have seen such a disrespect for educators in my 20 years of teaching. I have worked in middle class white suburbs and in economically deprived areas of Chicago. I have seen such a disconnect with the general public and teachers. I have to defend myself every day about why I make so much money, why I deserve the “benefits” that I receive and so forth. You read the rhetoric in this blog site and you are asking me/us why we sound so angry? Really? When this country and its citizens have such low expectations for education or take for granted public education, and dare I say “public” and then people get angry because they are inconvenienced? Really? Where have you been all this time? Why do you have a voice now? And why is the voice complaining about the teachers? How about spouting off at the “powers that be” that are destroying public education for their own personal gain. Do your research. You really don’t have to look that far. You nay sayers do need to have a voice, however, not against teachers. We should be standing side-by-side, not face-to-face. Stop believing in all of these tall tales and start educating yourself on who is going to benefit from all of the massive takeover of CPS. Follow the money. Because while you and I are finger-pointing, the investors, yes, investors, not educators, will be buying up all the real estate(schools) and creating these mini investing empires (charter schools) and we wont know what hit us. Soon we are going to be told what kind of car to drive, how many gallons of milk we can have in the fridge at one time and maybe, someday, how many children we are allowed to have. Look out. Wake up. It is time that you start getting angry too.

  9. Dwana says:

    I have your back Marcia, I am speaking to the WAY CTU is striking. I appreciate teachers and civil servants such as myself. And because I am a taxpayer, as well, I feel I can voice my opinion here in this safe forum because it is my First Amendment right.

    That said, there is no arrogance here other than the impetus I feel every day toward helping the disenfranchised who walk out of court and into my office. Education is the ONLY thing to move them beyond their circumstances, and I want that for them more than I care about what you think about me personally.

    As a mother, I worry about my children crossing the path of some of these kids who have no regard for life. A teacher may capture them, their interest and save so many lives – this I KNOW for a fact. I have had offenders tell me so. So this is not about you – from this piece’s perspective and I apologize if you took it to heart. The last thing a border-line gang member should be seeing right now is charged rhetoric, and in some cases teachers flipping citizens off on the picket line! We are better than that and kids deserve better than that. Feel however you want but have the class and dignity to behave accordingly and teach kids to be responsible citizens. It is all of our duties as civil servants.

    If you disagree than so be it, but do I then get to call you a name? If there has to be bullying on both sides, fine – but do it behind closed doors.

  10. Natasha says:

    It’s honestly very hard for me to support teachers who keep referring to themselves as babysitters. Any parent who works outside of the home is always going to ONLY be able to spend a few precious moments with their children – not just teachers, so can we please stop using that antiquated reasoning with other parents who don’t absolutely agree with the strike?

    It would be like me mentioning my military service and how I was without my child at the time for weeks while I made sure that the safety of other children came first. One would say that was my choice when I signed up to be in the military.

    We aren’t diminishing what a teacher has to go through, or the fact that you all are being asked to do so much for so little. What we are saying is that instead of putting our children in the middle (which they are, because THEY are the ones not in school or learning) both sides should come to some sort of agreement before we don’t have any kids left to learn.

    • Rachelle Cirrintano says:

      I just wanted to agree with you. The union leaders are not setting a good example nor the teachers by their actions. Get these kids in school or parents will be forced to find other means of education. Don’t use our kids as pawns.

  11. I_want_to_know says:

    *****CPS sent this link to parents.*****
    IMHO This type of strike was not desired by anyone but was needed in order for the teachers to regain some respect & dignity.
    Teachers should be considered welcomed extensions of the parents/guardians with EVERYONE working for the children!
    We place our children in the hands of people that we must trust to keep them safe and to educate them.
    The roles that teachers “play” in the lives of our children are quite important since they might spend more time with our children when awake than the parents do.

    These are probably just some of the jobs teachers might have to do during one school day:
    1) Babysitter/Nurturer
    2) Educator
    3) Protector
    4) Disciplinarian
    To be blunt & honest some children require that the teachers play many roles during the day. Those roles are similar to what parents do except that they are performed in a larger society of children all with different personalities. (I would not want their job)
    Education in the school is not just restricted to Math/Reading/Writing/etc but also to help the children function within a society.

    Teachers have a lot of pressure placed on them not only to educate the children but now to play the different roles that can reduce their time to educate.

    I know teachers that were fired/laid off due to either the school closing or some other reason.
    I believe in both job security and positive incentives and I don’t believe in threatening someone if they can not make a round peg fit into a square hole especially when both things are forced upon them without a choice.
    Now if the teachers were allowed more flexibility in their ideas, rather than using the “One-Size-Fits-All” teaching methods, maybe more children could be inspired to learn more. If the children’s hunger for knowledge increases usually they quickly learn more.
    I am not a teacher but have done some private tutoring and I find that I have to modify my “teaching” methods to fit the child. I don’t know HOW a teacher could successfully teach 30+ children and get outstanding results with all of them!

    Teachers need the support of the community!
    JMHO

    • Rachelle Cirrintano says:

      Teachers teach because that is the profession they chose. My family pays a lot of tax dollars to live in a nice neighborhood in a blue ribbon school district. All these issues could have been delt with in a professional manner. Nobody is disbuting the fact that they problably needed better benefits. I am a parent who cares tremendously about the education my son is getting. I care enough that I pay my taxes that support the education of my 8 year old. I also pay for private education of my son in a private school due to the lack of good high school education available in this ridiculous tier system. This is not the civil rights movement…people. Give respect and get it.

      • I agree with you about the respect issue. CTU seems to think we’re all idiots who should blindly accept everything they say. Everytime I hear someone from CTU talk about being disrespected I think about the gang violence. Isn’t that what all the gang bangers say? “He disrepected me so I shot him?”

        Respect is a two way street. You have to give it to get it. As long as CTU continues to play the game like we’re all idiots it will be hard to give respect to their actions.

      • I_want_to_know says:

        Nurses also chose their profession yet they have conducted strikes when they were confronted with conditions they felt were unfair.

        So how could all of these issues been delt with in a professional manner by CTU and CPS?
        Teachers refused to work under the conditions/requirements that changed to what they felt were unfair.

        What are their options?

        Hmmm and are you saying that the teachers have not been giving respect up to this point?

  12. Alba says:

    A border line gang-member should not be sheltered from adult tax payers who exercise their right to protest, who sacrifice their income to do right by your children. Teachers are not getting paid this week, the classes will eventually start and they will have to make up for these days; so kids are not missing their education it is just postponed by a few days and hopefully improved for many of them. Sorry for the inconvenience, but maybe, I am just saying maybe, in this warmer years having air conditioning and being fewer kids in the overcrowded classrooms will help your kids and hundred-thousands more in the years to come. Having bigger lunch rooms may allow students to have lunch at noon rather than at 9:30 and than be in classes till 3:30. Teachers will not capture any student interest or save their live this week but maybe they won’t stress out so much and they will teach your children skills that they need rather than testing them every week (so they can do go in some test with 50 questions) thus being able to save more lives the weeks to come.
    We have athletes and their couches, celebrities, even a governor flipping on national tv but you are soo enraged by some people in picket line, not even sure they are teachers, who flipped the bird to fellow citizens – heresy, we should revoke their first amendment. Oh by the way the first amendment that gives you the right to voice your opinion, also gives them the right to protest. So maybe they are tired of people like you exercising first amendment judging their decision to exercise their own first amendment.
    A border line gang-member should see the light in the future, but that light is getting dimmer every day, so lets blame the teachers that teenagers don’t see a value in education. Lets blame the teacher, because a child who knows that the moment he/she will find a job at McDonalds will quite the school, doesn’t care for Newton’s lows.
    I am a charter school teacher and we can’t strike yet but we fully support CPS teachers in their strike. All Emanuel cares about is his own performance review. Instead of working to improve schools he is closing the difficult ones and passing them to businesses to “turn them around”. Out of site out of mind, problem solved, let the charters deal with his head ache while CPS numbers improve drastically, problem solved and everyone leaves happily ever after.

    • Dwana says:

      Alba, I did not like the picket-line behavior. Period. The CTU and supporters were out there for me to see, that was their purpose so of course, they obviously want feedback… it is a display, no? I am in no way unsupportive of their demands, if you are reading my words comprehensively. I get that it is union right to strike, but in today’s world, if we can put people on other planets, we can certainly devise ways to strike without leaving kids victims. Protesting can be in many ways. Today’s world is much different than the 60’s and 70’s of old. Moving forward, learning new ways to negotiate, teaching kids better coping skills would have been really nice.

    • Rachelle Cirrintano says:

      Okay. Stop there. Teachers who are picketing are getting paid by the union. You are misled.

      • Marcia Williams says:

        Are you kidding?!!! Teachers are being paid by the union? Really?!! Thanks for sharing. I will ask for my check ASAP!!! And just think, we all thought it was a wash for being paid while we were out. You must have an inside track to what REALLY goes on at CTU and CPS. I will pass on the information. My fellow striking teachers will need a good laugh after this terrible week of being out of the classroom. Thanks Rachelle!!!

        • Rachelle says:

          Yes. They are if they are on the picket line. They do get paid by Union but that is not the point here. The point is to get the kids back in school learning. I find nothing funny to laugh at about that. Nobody forced teachers into teaching. I get the benefits thing. Where do you live because where I live I pay high taxes to send my to school in good neighborhood. While people who live in poverished neighborhoods are bussed here, educated for free, fed breakfast, lunch, and are on the state’s generous monthly pay plan. We need to work as a team. One day of striking or two, okay. But not to continue and dance in the streets like it is a celebration.

          • Ms. D. Griffith says:

            Rachelle you are right it is NOT a laughing matter. It is NOT funny that YOU are misinformed about us (teachers) receiving compensation while out on strike. I am here to inform you we are NOT! It’s sad that parents are buying into whatever the media tells them. Find out for yourself by doing some research and YOU will learn the truth.

            We ALL pay taxes even the picketing teachers! Our tax bills are not being deferred because we are on strike. My taxes just like yours, no matter where you live help pay for ALL STUDENTS, including my own CPS attending children to receive a fair, competitive and equal education!

  13. LaTrice says:

    As a parent I’m in agreement that the children are suffering in the end. However, as a union member myself, (not a teacher), I understand its purpose. Our teachers could have remained in the classroom during a negotiation and could have found themselves being bullied into an unfair contract that could have ultimately caused a strike later on in the year. This negotiation has been going on since November and talks of strike has been warned by the ctu since May. I’ll also agree that the strike has turned into a Emanuel vs. Lewis show down. It’s unfortunate, the strike, but definitely necessary. As a cps parent I would have loved for my children to be in school this week but as a parent its important to me that my children receive a quality education while not being spoon fed standardized testing so a teacher can keep his or her job. An education I don’t have to drive across town to get. I was not in agreement for longer days. While I know plenty of parents may appreciate it. Because my neighborhood school is considered a low achieving school, (and when you walked into the school you saw why), I have placed my kids into a magnet school across town. Getting out at 1:30 was ideal for my family. It gave my little ones, a chance to come home do homework and eat dinner at a reasonable time. While its unfortunate of the strike why are the teachers being staged as the bad guys? Why haven’t we as parents held cps officials accountable as well?

  14. S says:

    I completely agree with everything you said here! They need to find a better way. Disrupting our kids’ education is not acceptable!

    • Frustrated CPS Teacher says:

      Dear S,
      By “they” do you mean teachers or CPS? If your referring to teachers S, wake up! CPS has been disrupting your children’s education for quite some time now. We should have stayed out longer and demanded more accountability from CPS and the mayor. Never mind that nonsense, let’s hurry back to the worst possible day a child could spend in the classroom ever due to Rahm and CPS because of the disruption to the children. People like you and Rachelle certainly aren’t going to make strong choices for public education. You’ll follow the rest of the lemmings off the cliff. Wake up and start paying attention. Please don’t come to your own conclusions about anything having to do with teachers or public education. You scare me to death. CPS is a joke. If I could, I would invite you to spend a day with me in the classroom and you would get a clear picture of the destruction and disruption, on the Board’s end, to public education. I also find it curious that you seem to think that our “demands” don’t have a direct influence on your children. All of the issues that were on the table are all related and directly effect the kids. How do you not see that? Remember when you are pointing one finger at me and my colleagues, there are three more pointing back at you. Shame on you for not paying attention. You and Rachelle both need, must, have to become better informed. You are dangerous people in our society if you are so naive and reckless in spouting mistruths with such authority. Oh, and Rachelle, I’ll make sure to let my mortgage company know that the check from CTU is coming any day now. Whew! I thought I would have to cut back on groceries or carpool this week to save on gas. Find out the truth. Talk to a teacher!

      • S says:

        Frustrated CPS Teacher,

        Your self-title says it all. You need to find a new profession. I hope you do not belittle and attack in the classroom the way you have on here without even getting the full perspective. I do not find it even helpful to respond any further to you or on this blog with your hostility. I truly hope you are better in the classroom and not so full of hate and full of assumptions. Best of luck to those whose hearts are in the right place.

  15. Sarah says:

    Please stop blaming teachers for the fact that the system is broken. Teachers deserve to be respected. They deserve to make a living wage. They deserve job security after an initial trial period (as in any profession).

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