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A Chicago Teacher: ‘Our Teaching Conditions Are Your Child’s Learning Conditions’

On Monday, September 10th, the Chicago Teacher’s Union announced they were going on strike.

When any teacher’s union strikes, the response is always volatile, eliciting strong opinions from the media and public at large.

However, the overall response to the CTU Strike (both in the media and across social media sites) has been particularly aggressive, with many hardworking teachers being accused of selfishness, pettiness, and “hurting the children”

One Chicago educator wants to set the record straight.

From The Ultimate War on Mediocrity:

“The media has played a strong hand in misleading the public in the reasons for the strike and its continuance into a third day. A New York Times, editorialist suggests that this is simply a “personality” play between Mayor Emanuel and CTU President Karen Lewis. A  Chicago Sun Times editorialist argues that that the union is, “clinging to an unrealistic notion of what it can accomplish through labor negotiations.”

Shame on you media! For suggesting that the Union’s purpose was to throw our children under the bus.
Shame on you media! For insulting the same people that you argue should be in classroom educating our children.
Shame on you media! For using our children and their parents as political pawns.

The Union is a display of democracy in democratic society. The remarks by some in the media demonstrate an embrace of an autocratic society where a few (rich and powerful) people are allowed to make the decisions that affect the masses.

This strike represents the last ditch effort to stem that tide and fight for our children from the people who work with them day in and day out.
This strike represents the only time the board has listened to the cries of the teachers about some of the decisions that has been made across the district.
This strike represents a resolve to put in “black and white” the materials, support, and services that are needed to successfully educate our children.

Here is what we are fighting for:

  • A BETTER school day that reflects the priorities of the district. This means that the students get art, physical education, world languages, and music. This creates a well-rounded student.
  • Wrap around services including nurses, clinicians, and social workers so that the teacher can focus on TEACHING!
  • Climate controlled classrooms so that the students can focus on learning and not on the temperature of the classroom.
  • Professional development that reflects what the teacher needs to know to be successful in the classroom in light of the new REACH evaluation system and the implementation of the Common Core Standards for Reading and Mathematics.
  • Books and supplies on the first day of school and programming that is done earlier in the school year. Students should have their materials early and know what classes they are taking from day one. This helps prevent class sizes in the beginning of the year that sometimes stretches to 50 students.
  • A decrease in the number of days that students are required to take standardized tests so that teachers can take the time to continue to teach.”

Read more after the jump

Do you support the Chicago Teacher’s Union?

What are your thoughts on the media’s characterization of the circumstances surrounding the strike?

Sound off below! 


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