Dave Stieber, AlterNet
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(September 10, 2012) You have undoubtedly heard the news reports, radio attack ads, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) representatives, the “CEO” of CPS, and Mayor Rahm Emannuel saying how teachers are walking out on the students if we strike. Parents, students, residents of this city: as a teacher let me tell you, comments like that rip teachers to our core. As clichéd as it sounds, teaching is a calling. It’s not as if one day we just said, “I guess I’ll be a teacher.” It takes skill and dedication to stand in front of 30 (and sometimes more) young people in a classroom and truly care and be able to teach every one of them. It is not possible to just be mediocre when it comes to teaching students. A young person is the first to let you know if you aren’t doing a good job at teaching the lesson, not getting graded work passed back quickly enough, heck, they will even let you know if you look bad that day.
Teachers just can’t punch in, start thinking about kids then punch out and stop. We are always trying to improve our lesson plans, grade, figure out ways to reach the students who are withdrawn, quiet, confrontational or disrupting class. We just can’t shut our students out of our lives when the bell rings.
What Teachers Want, Dana Goldstein, the Nation
Budget cuts, layoffs, increased class sizes and high stakes testing have left one-third of public school teachers considering a job change. That's bad news for all of us.