Monday, August 15, 2011

In Defense Of Teachers

When did school teachers become villains worthy of public scorn and derision? Because they belong to a union? Puhleeze, back in the day when grown people actually showed teachers some respect they were unionized then too. Young people used to be praised for wanting to teach because everyone knew it wasn't a path to a pot of gold.

Benefits?! It's a profession not a convent!

The Siren wants to hug Nikki Fisher for writing a brilliant reply to last week's tirade against Racine teachers. We have reprinted it in full:

Shame on you
To the writer who said “shame on you” to Racine teachers (Journal Times, Aug. 8) — and all those others who have been disrespecting teachers in Wisconsin and elsewhere — I say “shame on you.” 
It is likely that you owe much of what you have and are to teachers who, for comparatively low pay (compared to others who have BS or MS degrees) and little respect, work hard to help fulfill the founding fathers’ mandate of free public education for all.
Two years ago, I started mentoring an RUSD elementary school student, and it has been an eye-opening experience. There is no way I could do the job those teachers do, despite being a former business executive and currently a consultant to Fortune 50 companies. 
If you want to criticize someone, criticize the 1,500 millionaires who paid zero taxes last year. Or the bankers who brought our economy down and then walked away with multimillion-dollar bonuses. 
But if you want to understand why it’s been necessary to fight for decent pay and benefits to entice well-educated men and women to stay in a thankless, burnout profession when they could earn a lot more money elsewhere, I suggest you visit a public school near you and watch one of those teachers do his or her work. If you did, you just might learn something.
Nikki Fisher