Teachers….I love you. I have many teachers in my family. I have many friends who are teachers. I totally support teachers. I am the mom who backs the teacher 100% when I get the call or email that my child has done “something”.
That said….Chicago teachers, I am so sad about this strike. I am sad for the students who have nowhere to go during the day to feel empowered, productive, successful, heard. I am sad for the student athletes who have lost their season of play and now cannot compete for their shot at a sectional/division/state championship. Some of those kids are seniors who were counting on being seen by college recruiters one more time. For some of these students, on the field or court is where they experience success in life and they “need” that to keep them going academically. I am sad for the working parents who have no viable childcare for their kids and living in limbo day-to-day, wondering if classes will resume.
I appreciate that many of YOU are working parents. I, myself, am a working parent. Although my children don’t attend Chicago schools, I work in Chicago. This means that when your union decides to protest and shut down major streets and avenues during peak travel for commuters, I am prevented from getting home to my children in a timely manner. You are now placing your job demands above the welfare of my children and THAT I do NOT support.
I will champion your cause for fair pay, more staff including a nurse and caseworker. And while I do see value in having a librarian at each school, I am not informed of the particulars and would think a reading recovery specialist or special needs professional (like a speech therapist, etc.) may be a more pressing need. Again, I do not claim to know all that is going on with the strike or that the media is accurately reporting details so I am positively operating largely in the dark on your issues. I want to be supportive of you as teaching professionals and the students and the working parents, and all parents for that matter. I simply ask that you be respectful of my children, my time, and my inability to give you anything more than my moral support so if the union’s choice of when and where to protest adversely impacts my family, I am far less inclined to be supportive.
Sorry for the rant. Faced with requesting a last minute “half day off” in order to get home to my son today which will not be convenient for my employer all due to the CTU’s plan to disrupt traffic this afternoon for commuters.