Its been tough to be a public school teacher

Its been tough to be a public school teacher the last few
years. We have often been criticized for being  obstructionists because we
believe reforms should be based on facts and evidence and we have often been
accused of being more interested in our salary, benefits and pension rather
than our students.

This tragedy in Connecticut has weighed heavily on me but it
also dawned on me that the people who ran towards the gunmen and who either
died or risked their lives protecting children were public school teachers too.
Somewhere along the way teachers went from respected,
often-revered members of the community to second-class citizens often
marginalized. Done so by a government that says they believe in education but
always cuts it first, the targets of well-financed groups that seek to profit
off of education and by a society that blames us for the ills of society.
Friends, poverty is not an excuse it is a terrible reality and until we put
measures in place to mitigate it not all the charter schools, vouchers and
merit pay programs in the world will make a dent.    
My colleagues in Connecticut and their school district like
most is facing budget cuts, were experiencing the same thing teachers all
across the nation have been facing and like the vast majority of teachers do
they put their children first. So the next time you want to criticize a teacher
for having a pension or for not being able to overcome a child’s poverty or
home life, the next time you want to demonize a teacher for not supporting
reforms based on politicians guts or corporations bottom lines, I just hope you
think about their sacrifices and even though your heart is heavy you are just as proud of them as I am. 
Chris Guerrieri

School Teacher 

One Reply to “Its been tough to be a public school teacher”

  1. I think the majority of teachers give it their all. However, the basic educational system no longer works. We (liberals, conservatives, moderates, et. al) need to sit down at a table and create a new educational blueprint.

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