Today was the first day back to school. It felt invigorating to be back in the building. The kids seemed to really miss school and their teachers and the teachers seemed happy to be off the picket line and back in the classroom. I can talk more later about whether or not our deal was as good as we’d hoped (we definitely made some concessions in terms of salary and wages in order to really benefit our students), but what I did today was showed students that every once in a while, a strike was necessary. I had them read this article and this article. Then, we discussed the similarities and differences between the Teacher Revolts that happened 79 years ago and the strike that happened seven days ago. Let me tell, it saddens me that not much has changed. It’s as if we just haven’t learned our lesson.
I’d like to think my students learned a bit about Chicago history today (and got some Common Core non-fiction in while they were at it). What I hope they really learned though was just how much teachers love kids. I hope they really learned that throughout history teachers have always stood up for the welfare and benefit of our students. That no matter what anyone says, pay is often the last things on our minds. After all, no teacher gets into teaching for the big bucks. We do it because we want to make a difference in the world. We do it because we are idealistic and hopeful that the day-to-dayness of our job will one day make a difference in a child’s life.
PS. The coolest part of the day? When we all met in the parking lot, wearing red, and entered the building together. : )