Unions Allow Teachers to Teach From the Heart

There has been much discussion as of late about teachers and their unions, most of it negative. The unions are ruining education. The unions protect bad teachers. The unions aren’t necessary. I am here to tell you, as a proud union member, that none of this is true.

As I watch what is happening in Wisconsin, I realize more and more that the American public has been hornswoggled. They have been told again and again by politicians, the media, and some of our nation’s wealthiest citizens that unions are bad, and that not only are unions out of touch with America, they are, in fact, un-American. Yet I see thousands of union members spending their days and nights in Madison, Wisconsin’s capital, looking more American than anybody I have seen in my lifetime.

I see people of all ages. I see people of all races. I see people from alternative lifestyles standing side by side with men in business suits. There are people embracing strangers as if they were members of their own family while the sounds of Scottish bagpipes combine with the sounds of Native American drum beats to create beautiful music. The melting pot that is America is bubbling over with courage and conviction in Madison right now. And it is the love of their unions that brought all of these Americans together.

As I watch what is happening in Wisconsin, I also realize that every one of the American citizens who protest with one collective voice are more aware of what America is all about than many of our nation’s leaders are. It is not just Wisconsin’s governor that is trying to strip his own state’s employees of their rights; this is beginning to happen all over America. How ironic it is that the leaders who founded our great nation created laws to protect American’s rights while many of America’s current leaders create legislation that aims to take them away.

And while the Wisconsin residents are peacefully protesting the wrongs that are being cast upon them, many are risking retribution from their employers just for exercising their freedom of speech rights. Were it not for the protection of their unions, it is not much of a presumption to think that they would probably even be fired for their actions. This is why they are there; unions protect the American worker’s rights that were given to them when our Constitution–the most important document in our nation’s history–was ratified. This is the single most important reason that America needs unions.

As a teacher, I have seen my union save the jobs of teachers that would otherwise be counting themselves amongst the ranks of America’s unemployed citizens. Just recently, two teachers’ positions were eliminated in order to bring in outsourced employees instead. Luckily, both were certified to teach one of the other open teaching positions in the district and were hired back. After speaking with both teachers, they agreed that were it not for the efforts of the union, both teachers (who have been teaching twenty-plus years) would undoubtedly have been let go in order to hire younger, cheaper, less-experienced teachers. I’ve also seen my union stand up for teachers who were outspoken or who disagreed with the opinions of the school board or who had vengeful school board members attacking them because they disagreed with their teaching methods.

If a teacher cannot teach from his or her heart, it is almost impossible for learning to occur. I know this from experience. My daughter often needs help with her math homework, and math is a subject I am far from passionate about. Because of this, it is nearly impossible for me to help her with her homework without one or both of us becoming extremely frustrated (luckily my brother is a math teacher, so help is never more than a phone call away!). Why do I mention this? Because unions allow teachers to teach from the heart. They allow us to be humans who are apt to make mistakes instead of fear-filled robots who teach by the book even if the book is boring and wrong.

When you think back on the teachers you had that were most effective, I bet they were lively, out-of-the box thinkers who sometimes strayed from the conventional ways of teaching in order to make a point or to help you make a connection to the subject. They may have strayed from the text in order to impart a valuable lesson upon you that can’t be found in any textbook. In doing this, they made the subject they were teaching come alive and helped you not only to learn but also to want to learn more. But while they were doing this, they were also taking risks.

Risks that one of their student’s parents might complain they were teaching “the wrong way.” Risks that their principal might walk past their classrooms and, seeing students up and moving instead of propped upright at their desks, call them to his or her office to receive a talking to. Risks that a school board member who remembers learning “the good old-fashioned way” disapproves of their teaching methods. So why take so many risks? Because that is part of what it takes to be a good teacher. But also because they know that their union will be there to back them. You see, unions protect good teachers, not bad ones.

For some reason, though, this is never brought up. All we hear on the news is negative propaganda about the unions and their members. Rush Limbaugh even went so far as to call the public workers in Wisconsin “freeloaders.” Firemen and police officers who risk their lives on a daily basis, nurses who dedicate their lives to helping the sick, and teachers who have dedicated themselves to educating America’s children are being called freeloaders simply because they belong to unions. Your neighbors, your friends, and your relatives are being attacked simply because they belong to unions. I am being attacked because I belong to a union. A union that protects my rights, a union that negotiated a fair contract that helps me pay for most of the things my five children need, a union that urges people to exercise their right to vote. A union that is based on the democratic ideals upon which our nation was built.

So if you are not a union member, I urge you to talk to somebody that is. You will instantly see the same passion within them that is being displayed in Wisconsin right now because union workers are proud not only of their unions but also of their work and of their country. You’ll realize within minutes that belonging to a union has nothing to do with freeloading and everything to do with pursuing the American Dream. Please don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

For more information and to take action, please visit Education Votes.

Comments (38)

  1. Chris,
    You said it so profoundly, again. Proud to call you a colleague!

  2. I was sitting in the chair at my hairdresser’s and the news about Wisconsin came on. One of the stylists said, “Good, then they’ll be just like everyone else!” (Meaning the teachers and union members.) Is this what America thinks? Is this what they’ve been led to believe, that we (teachers) are different and better than everyone else because of the unions?
    Here’s something scary, at a staff meeting the other day, I said to two teachers that I was standing behind the protestors in Wisconsin. They said, “What’s going on in Wisconsin, I don’t watch the news.” Don’t assume everyone knows, we have to spread the word.

    • I agree with you lisa And I agree with our writer and friend Chris we need to spread the word and let people know the facts that what they have been conditioned to believe is not the actual truth about Unions. The whole reason for unions then and now is to protect the rights of the workers, the fact that not only teachers rights but other public workers rights are under attack is ridiculous. Why take someones right to negotiate away! Perhaps if Education were at the top and not on the bottom of the scale of priorities! Perhaps if teachers, police and firefighters were more respected none of the protesting would be necessary. The politicians don’t like people that have brains and think outside the box, the ability to critically think is becoming a thing of the past thats to things like NCLB and RTTT! The ability to be to figure out how to vote for the lesser of two evils is a dying Art if they have it their way! Well i for one will keep spreading the word and encouraging my friends to think first and not follow like drones off a cliff!! Thanks Chris and many of my friendsfor waking the sleeping giants! On with the march !!

    • How true, Lisa! While visiting a school today, only 1 teacher knew anything about the WI events. Besides recruiting members, my co-worker and I are teaching and informing…..We are both retired educators and I guess teaching will always be a part of our being. We still love to see people learn.

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  4. We spend more on education then any other country and still rank 18th among 36 top countries . We have children that are on the honor roll all threw high school and still have to take extra classes to get in the doors of low ranked colleges? Public schools are on a down ward spiral we don’t get what we pay for and the unions are to strong to get rid of a bad teacher if need be. This is a union against the tax payers we have to have some control. Why do privet schools with no unions have better graduation and scholar ship rate ? This is necessary!
    And I’m a proud union member myself!

    • Laborer,

      I am interested in learning where you’ve gotten some of your facts from. I am not sure that they are all correct. I am positive that your fact concerning unions standing in the way of getting rid of “bad” teachers is not correct as I have seen teachers with tenure be let go due to not performing their jobs. One thing that needs to happen in America is for honest dialogue to occur in order to put some of these fallacies to rest. Governor Walker’s tactics are preventing that from happening in Wisconsin.

    • Laborer,

      We are also the ONLY INDUSTRIALIZED country on the planet that has promised our AOOL of our children an education. In all other nations, whose testing scores may be above those of the US, students are “weeded out” and ONLY those who are felt to have academic promise are sent to high school and on to college. We are no longer a nation that has millions of minimum wage jobs for those deemed unworthy of college. As a teacher, we do our best to educate ALL students…even though the legislation is unfair to those with disabilities and due to lack of funding, placing hardhsips on already diminished school budgets, the basic tenets of No Child Left Behind are those of a caring, compassionate nation who want the American Dream to be a possibility for all of our children. We have, in my experience, been doing more with less for over a decade. We have met the challenge of national and state standards of excellence in most districts, with lower budgets, larger class sizes, fewer teachers and students who can be apathetic. You want to save taxpayers money??? Then you give up your salary and benefits and go back to school…I won’t edit your post…I would hate to educationally “out” someone as intelligent as you by pointing out your obvious grammatical errors.

      • No. I don’t wont you to edit out my grammatical errors. For I’m the perfect example of public school system . I graduated early my senior year also? So go ahead point out my grammatical errors . No I’m not educated . But the difference between common scene and an education is common scene is a gift, education I can still buy!

        Please don’t take me wrong I don’t think its the teacher fault at all and I think most teachers are under paid.Take the Government and the union out of it and I think it will fix it all.

    • laborer…even though i do not agree at all with your comments, i respect them because i know that you are not the only one who has been hoodwinked! we rank 18th in the world because we are the only country who tests every child. most countries only test the students who are on “the college track.” we even test our severe special education students. i know this because i happen to be a special education teacher who is required to administer state tests to my blind students in wheelchairs that function at a 6 month old level. i’m so glad that other countries can be selective, but here in america, we don’t have that luxury. also, we do not spend more than any other country. if you look at salaries for teachers across other countries, you will see that those on top pay their teachers significantly more than we do in the US. those teachers in the top countries are also actually respected, which is so much more than i can say for our present state. public schools are on a downward spiral, not because of the teachers, but because of parents who refuse to parent (among other things) and realize that they are their children’s first teachers. private schools have a better graduation rate because private schools can pick and choose the students that can enroll in their schools. also, they have a much higher rate of parental involvement. they also have a VERY low percentage of special education students. and if a special ed student in a private school requires say, speech services, guess who has to provide it…the public school! public schools serve ALL children…not just the chosen few. finally, the unions have conceded all the monetary demands that have been made. busting the union has nothing to do with money…it’s a power play from a bully. in my class, bullies get time outs.

    • I would say that your view is too simplistic. In Milwaukee, WI, the public school I teach at takes ALL kids, including students with severe disabilities, students newly released from jail, students expelled from other schools and other districts, and students several grade levels behind. Many of the private schools in our area refuse to educate these children. That could be one reason that some private schools have different graduation rates, etc.

    • You don’t get what you pay for because you don’t care to participate in your child’s education. How much time have you spent in a classroom lately? You can blame “No Child Left Behind” for ruining education. They set high standards, but they require such a fast pace that you can only skim the surface. “No Child Left Behind” was developed by people who had sour grapes over not winning vouchers. It is all a plot to eliminate public education altogether and make it a private business.

      My district has us skip pages in the book so they can get the most important things taught before testing. So there are gaps that make this confusing. The books are terrible and ineffective, yet they have tied teachers hands by preventing us from using anything but the required books. Our supply budgets have been cut (yet the number of administrators in our district have doubled and they aren’t taking pay cuts). Why aren’t districts consolidating? This would eliminate administrators and allow for more teachers and smaller class sizes.

      Now I ask you this, if they succeed at turning education into a business (so the government can wash it’s hands of it), do you think it will be cheaper than it is now? A babysitter makes $3.00 per hour per child. I have 34 students and teach 6 hours a day (well, more like 9 or 10, but I won’t charge for that). OK that works out to $612.00 per day. Now, if I owned a private school I would need to factor in supplies and administrative costs. Do you think private education will be cheaper? Not really. The “elite” schools with the best teachers will cost you a bundle (more than the average worker can afford). The politicians behind all of this will be able to afford those elite schools. The average Joe won’t. They will be stuck with either a low paid, angry, unhappy teacher in public school, or a private school that has the kids who won’t behave and have problems because they are the “budget” private school.

      • No. I don’t wont you to edit out my grammatical errors. For I’m the perfect example of public school system . I graduated early my senior year also? So go ahead point out my grammatical errors . No I’m not educated . But the difference between common scene and an education is common scene is a gift, education I can still buy!

        Please don’t take me wrong I don’t think its the teacher fault at all and I think most teachers are under paid.Take the Government and the union out of it and I think it will fix it all.

    • Dear Laborer–Why do private schools have such better rates? Because they are not the norm. The students who attend private schools are children whose parents value education and have the money to send them there. At a public school, we teach ALL children (many of which have parents who do NOT care about their education in the slightest). In addition, comparing America to other countries is comparing apples and oranges. Other countries only educate their elite. They push out students who are deemed not worthy or not able to learn into the working community by age 12. In America, we don’t give up on students. Of course, that comes with lower test results. Finally, it is not “too hard” to fire a unioned teacher. I’ve seen plenty of teachers fired for various reasons. Yes, there are steps in place to make sure that it is done properly, but it’s far from impossible.

  5. I have seen it in my kids school. I have seen young brilliant teachers that have that special gift of getting even the hard core kids to learn and see them let go. When some of the other teachers that are not bad but cant hold a candle to the ones they let go. . I have friends that teach in privet schools where they run on less money and have better graduation rates with no unions ? So why is this?

    And one other thing you have to look at elections have consequence it did not work the way it was or the people would not have voted in your new Governor and new conservative legislators . That is what happens when Unions even mine put all there eggs in one basket.

    • My response to Laborer? The children at private schools succeed because behavior problems are not tolerated. A private school requires parent involvement. That is the greatest factor in student success. I never wanted to work for a private school, because the pay was so much less. I saw many teachers who couldn’t cut it in public school, get jobs in private school. A private school teacher doesn’t even have to have a college degree! Let’s do a social experiment. Take a public school teacher and a private school teacher and plunk them in the same school in a poor area where parents are uneducated (heck, let’s stick a politician in the third classroom and a brand new teacher in the fourth). Let them teach all year (with equal numbers of special needs, non-english speakers, and behavioral problems) and see who gets the best scores. Why hasn’t this “social experiment” been done? Why not do the intelligent thing and try this, before we blow it all?

      When you deal with the public, a certain percent of them are going to have mental health issues. I’ve had crazy parents call me 12 or 13 times a night, every night for a year. Who would put up with that for less money and benefits? I spent $4,000.00 my first year of teaching on books and materials for my classroom. Now that I’ve taught 23 years, I spend about a thousand now. What is the point of spending thousands of dollars on college to be a teacher only to make the same money as a laborer like yourself? Do you really think a person will become a teacher because they love kids? Maybe. Will they love it when parents yell at them for assigning too much homework, then yell at them when their kids don’t pass? Will they love it when the kids say, “f____ you!”. Will they love it when the kids throw pencils and yell at them and interrupt the lesson? Will they love it when they have to pick up a finger a kid lost playing tetherball (like I did)? Will they still love it when they are correcting papers until 1 a.m.? Will they love catching 5 colds a year? Will they love head lice? I could go on. Be careful what you wish for. People who want to break up unions are selling their own children’s futures!

    • To Laborer: The students that are able to attend private schools come from homes that value education. Their parents are better educated and have jobs that can pay for the private schooling, which usually have smaller class sizes. Those educated parents support their schools and teachers. Private schools can also expel or refuse admittance to anyone they want to!!! Public schools cannot do this.

    • Trust me… the private education is less about the teachers and more about the quality of students there. Plain and simple… I used to teach at one, so I’ve seen it in action. I realize I can’t speak for all private schools, but their student population is significantly different from the public schools. Logically, there will be differences in the outcome.

    • Laborer. The reason private schools have higher graduation rates with no unions is: They can turn students away. Parents have to be involved because they have to go through an application process. Students who bring guns/drugs/cell phones to school can be suspended or expelled.

      Public schools unashamedly take EVERYONE including ignorant fools like you, who think the world is black and white, and teach them how to think for themselves (and also to do real research instead of believing that your own ONE experience is the gospel truth)

      • So your telling me that if you had the country’s top teacher in any subject come into a school ( your school ) ,got a job and was employed two weeks and then cuts had to be made to teachers that he or she would keep their job over a teacher that has been there for 12years? Please reply.

  6. I would point out that private schools only take those that can pay. Those parents are usually making sure that their kids are doing what is necessary to learn. When I know the parents of a kid well, and the parents are paying attention, the kid is usually doing well. In my school, all the special ed kids are sent to our building. The test scores in our building are lower. No special allowances are made to the test scores to compensate. Public schools have to educate everyone, the poor, the slow learners, kids with no parents. Laborer, as Chris stated, your facts are not facts. Big money wants more money and they are paying media to convince you that unions are bad, despite the fact that you are in one. Before you form an honest opinion, you would need to spend a day with me, doing what I do. Only then can you know what the issues I deal with daily are. Rush Limbaugh doesn’t have a clue.

    • Rick I’m sue your a great teacher and you cant put a price on that. I don’t blame the teachers I believe you are under paid lets get rid of the unions and the Government out of it . Unions destroys individualism and true self worth.. I live it everyday they don’t want me to do no more then the next guy .

  7. When we were newlyweds, my husband and I worked our way through college. It took us ten years. We were the first to graduate in our family. It took us ten years of living on top ramen and mac n cheese to get through it. I was the first person at my college to work full time while going through the credential program. That meant I worked 80+ hours a week.

    My coworkers snickered at me and asked why I wasted my money on college, when I could spend that money on better food or going to movies. We persisted. I became a teacher and he became a public employee. We were so proud we took a career photo. We put off having kids until we bought our house. We paid off our loans, and have always paid off our bills every month. We have saved money carefully and pinched pennies. I worked very hard at the most difficult job of my life (and I had previously worked as a housekeeper, nurses aid, file clerk, fast food worker, office manager and administrative assistant). I have paid money into social security that I will never be allowed to collect. I have never been a slacker.

    Now it seems some people think I deserve less than what I have. Probably those same people who were snickering at me while I worked so hard. This is robbery, being committed by criminals. They want to take away something that we have worked very hard for. If people allow this to happen, no one will go into teaching. In ten years there will be a desperate need for teachers and nobody will want to do it. Everyone thinks it’s fun at first, then the reality of working a minimum of 50+ hours a week will set in and they will quit because it won’t be worth the money they make.

    Women, beware. If this happens, and unemployment remains high, you will be asked to stay home and educate your children. This attack on education will not make us competitive with China, instead it will send us back 200 years to a time where the parents will have to educate their children themselves. The dropout rate will be huge and then we will have a country full of people who are now factory workers, creating happy meal toys for China.

  8. Laborer, you continue to say that private schools run on less money and have better graduation rates. This is not true, as the playing field is not level. They can reject problem students, special ed students, trouble-makers, etc. Public schools cannot. Control for such issues, and you’ll find that public schools do just as well, if not better than private schools.

    Oh, and compare the top public education systems in the nation with the bottom five or six. You want to know one major difference? The top five or six have strong unions, working hard to improve education. The bottom five or six are almost entirely “right to work” states, where the unions are much, much weaker.

    Are you suggesting that unions should support candidates who are opposed to their interests? That’s ridiculous, and it’s part of what’s wrong with American politics. Elected officials should serve the best interests of ALL of their constituents, not just those who chose to support their election campaign. You are suggesting that it is OKAY that elected officials be beholden only to those who supported their campaigns. That’s extremely dangerous, as it means only those who can afford a voice should have one.

    And that brings me to my final point. Unions are important because collectively, they give us a voice that we wouldn’t have. They allow us to stand up to multi-billionaires who *continue to rake in record profits* while the rest of us struggle just to put food on our tables. How dare they tell us that *we’ve* got to sacrifice when they live in tremendous mansions and can vacation whenever, wherever they want to? How DARE they suggest that WE are the greedy ones? My union enables me to have a voice at the table.

    In short, you shouldn’t believe everything the rich guys tell you. They don’t have your best interests at heart. They only care about their bottom line, which will do just fine whether or not there are unions to protect the rest of us.

  9. I think this is well written article that lacks examples as to why unions are important. The very idea of a union is very important, but the way they run and operate today make them overpowering without getting a lot accomplished. I’m not saying that I agree with Gov. Walker, but there does need to be change because our schools are failing and thus failing our kids. Your example on teachers “out-of-the-box thinkers” and you’re to say that they are getting fired for this, or at least protected? I’m confused. If a teacher is truly a great teacher and can handle his or her class, and can teach the toughest of students, then, yes, they should have a job. A teacher’s job should be completely based on performance and not whether or not they belong to a union. Yes, a union does protect the individual, but that being the case, why not make it so the union has standards by which someone has to belong. If an individual belonged to a union that excepted based on their performance, I would be more apt to trust the union than I would be this way. This also takes out the prejudice imposed by the principals or school leaders who like teaching “the old fashioned way.”

  10. I had a threatening facebook comment for agreeing with you. The threatening side cannot win. Teachers are a fantastic group. They need to be able to teach not fight for survival.

  11. After yearsteachingonesubjectI was told 2 weeks after school started that I would have to teach a grade that I had never taught before. Luckily, I had enough years to be able to get out. But how sad that none of those years counted for anything. As far as my administration was concerned I was only a number on a balance sheet, and when the funding was “needed for other things”, there went my position, to be filled by a part time inexperienced person. I am glad to be away from the situation, but miss the kids terribly and my colleagues more. The point is without union protection this could happen even more frequently than it does. I have seen it happen to family members without union protection.

  12. Chris your “democratic ideals”, don’t jive with how unions actually operate. If I want to teach school in your state I HAVE to join your union. What if I disagree with your union and choose not to join? What if I want my dues money to go some place else? What if I have the ability to be a great teacher in your state but cannot teach in your state because I have to join your union? You belong to an organization that takes tax dollars from the citizens of the state and yet your organization supports the Democratic party consistently. Do you understand that the people of your state are not comfortable with unions lying in bed with one political party. The citizens of your state want you to contribute 5% and 12% to your respective benefits. You are still getting a better deal than the average working stiff in your state. It is only fair. The state does not have a bottomless reservoir of money. You just had an election. The majority of the state voted in a new government and they are about to do what the electorate voted for. Cut spending! You can vote next time and get your people in power! Do you deny that the voters of your state do not want to cut spending? Were are the champions of Democracy when the business in the house needs to be done? The Democrats lost for a reason! The people are tired of government spending that is out of control. It is time to cut back! Yes, its a drag! The people are becoming addicted to free money from the taxpayers of the state. Its going to hurt to turn off the spigot but it has to be done. Your a good teacher! Hang in there! You can still teach from the heart without the over reaching powers of the union. Tough times are ahead for everyone.

  13. Unbelievable! I have been teaching for 15 years and in those years I have witnessed unions protect teachers who shouldn’t even be allowed to work at McDonald’s. America would be appalled if they knew what teachers can get away with because of tenure. The union, like the welfare system began with good intentions, but has spiraled out of control. Why? because those in charge allow low-lifes to take advantage of the system. I am SO glad America is FINALLY taking notice that public education has become a place where the adults come first. Come on people, those of us with our heads out of the clouds KNOW this is true!

    • Thank you for your reply.

  14. I’ve been teaching for 16 years. I love my kids-my own-and the 100 I teach. I take care of all 101 of them with all that I have–some days better than others. I take care of kids who are bullied, abused, special needs, do not fit in with the other kids, and the kids that are often overlooked because they aren’t the gifted or special needs. I do this because I feel it is what I am meant to do. Everyday we make over a hundred decisions. We leave exhausted and then go home play positive roles in our own homes.
    Having all of this political warfare is concern added to my plate. The teachers in my district are well aware of what is happening in Wisconsin because we are tuned in, and this is mostly because of our union reps. They are our most important source of what is going on in education concerning the testing (that changes way too often) and legislature. They are the ones who fight for people like me to keep on teaching my 100 kids without having to worry whether someone decides they don’t like me or have seen me make an error. I do make errors. I don’t need to be terrified when I make one. Out of 100 decisions every day for a year—-I wonder how many most people make at their jobs. I bet it is far less than teachers. We have kids come in for extra help on our time, plan, we make changes in the middle of a lesson if it is not working, we take kids aside during class if they need a pep talk, one on one help, or even redirection for poor behavior. We stay as mentors to kids as they leave our school.
    Parents DO need to have their voices heard. They are the tax payers and ALL CITIZENS have been given this right. They are represented by those they have elected.
    We need to be heard by those we have elected to speak for us.
    Don’t believe that “things will get better” if collective bargaining is taken away. Having people from the business world come in and take over doesn’t make sense. They are not trained to handle all the issues that come with handling a school! It is amazing how people dismiss what we do as a skill can be mastered by anyone with a bachelors. Would you want a lawyer giving you an operation? They are both highly educated.
    We are employees of the public sector. Because of this we get paid less than those in the private sector with the same amount of education (which we continue to accrue and do not stop at a master’s degree) so a pension was put in place. I have this money for my retirement taken out of my OWN check. The state has borrowed from MY money and not returned it. How would you feel if you took money from every one of your checks into a savings…and the bank just said one day….we are not giving it back to you! The state even owes my district money from last year! They need to take the heat for not holding up their end! The mistakes of states spending is the cause of this. Funny how this has taken a little bit of the heat off of them and put it on the police, firefighters, and teachers.
    We all want to do the best we can. The unions help us do this by making sure we get what we need to do this at work…and to keep up with the cost of living. As far as low-lifes being able to teach, our country is now making changes to the evaluation process. It will be far easier to “dispose” of these teachers. They will be given the time to make changes and be taught how they can improve upon their weaknesses, if this is not done they will be fired.
    Sorry for the overkill and the rambling thoughts…I just had a lot to say. I have to get back to making plans to keep the attention of those kids whose parents allow them to play countless hours of video games, don’t eat dinner with them, allow them to talk back to them, don’t give them consequences, and don’t have chores.
    Let me go find a pair of clown shoes. Maybe that will get their attention in a new way on Monday.

  15. The Unions don’t protect bad teachers? Really???????? Come to my district. It is idiotic statements like these that drove me out of the union two years ago.

  16. Unions absolutely protect bad teachers. I am not hoodwinked. I agree with Laborer in his/her comment that if you take unions out you can better solve some of our education problems – maybe even raise salaries.

    • Raise salaries? LOL….boy that really made my day. I needed a good laugh today.

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  18. As this video illustrates, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyxuUjgHkgs, I think you’re confusing the role of public unions versus that of private unions, which is something I feel most people have also done in regards to this whole adventure. By their very nature, public unions and private unions perform very different functions that in turn have very different collateral effects.

    Private unions, in theory, serve an important function as a remedy against abuse by those greedy corporations. However, private unions are only able to maintain an existence, and in turn provide adequate wages and benefits to its members, if it helps its corporation turn a profit. Thus, when the corporation does well, so does the private union.

    However, as we have seen with the $3.6 billion deficit in Wisconsin, this is not the case with public sector unions. Instead of negotiating with greedy corporate bosses who want to squeeze out every cent of profit, public unions negotiate with people they elect. Thus, public union members are presented the question of “are you going to vote for the guy who wants to keep your compensation at current levels, or even reduce it to lower levels, or the guy who wants to increase your compensation?” As we have seen with the protestors in Madison, these public union members will support those who want to, in the least, not reduce their overall compensation.

    Thus, instead of true collective bargaining, you have collusion. This collusion leads to increased costs, the funds for which must come from somewhere. Since the government receives its “profit” through taxes, it must either raise taxes or shift money away from other valuable public services in order to support the increasing compensation for public workers. Both increasing taxes and shifting funds can only go so far before the system completely breaks. Removing collective bargaining for public workers removes this problem entirely, and money can instead be spent on other valuable and necessary public services (or even tax breaks to serve as incentives for those who create jobs, but thats another argument entirely).

    Private unions must help their employers by not biting off the hand that feeds them in order to remain in existence, but public unions can simply grow the hand that feeds it so that it can continue to nibble off bits and pieces here and there. That hurts us all, teachers included.

  19. The government must pay government employees fairly and give bonuses for their hard work

  20. Wow! Chris got this topic on fire! I agreed with the anonomous user stated “teachers are a fantastic group. They need to be able to teach not fight for survival.”

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