All the striking teachers over the course of this school year have gotten me thinking . . .
I think I'm long overdue for a strike. Twelve years without a raise, and the work load just keeps increasing. Here are some of the demands I could seek, followed by my current working conditions.
We could definitely use some better working conditions.
- cleaning vomit from student's bed sheets before school can begin
- maintaining the cleanliness of the entire school building before during and after school hours
- no breaks, unless you count stopping to prepare the students' lunches
- holidays may be taken at your discretion unless any student might decide to want to do some extra work
Or at least, more narrowed work responsibilities
- Lunch lady
- transportation coordinator
- curriculum selector and purchaser
- handle all classroom discipline no matter the extent including any detentions or outside consequences.
- manage all extra curricular activities, or research, hire and fund any personnel outside of regular classroom
- after school care
- study hall supervisor
- school secretary, security, and assistant principal. Must screen all calls and visitors before during and after school hours.
Maybe more reasonable hours?
- Monday through Friday and occasional weekends. Teaching might begin as early as 8:00 and continue through dinner for various students. Weekends are not guaranteed off, and teachers are expected to always be on the lookout for teachable moments to reinforce classroom learning. On call tutoring at any time, even as late as 8:30 pm on occasion.
- Teaching will diminish during summer months, with occasional days off here and there.
- No monetary compensation whatsoever.
Continuation of employment not based on student performance (and yet, many want homeschooler's to submit to annual tests and perhaps relinquish their right to homeschool if their child isn't meeting standards. Seems a little inconsistent on the part of educators, don't ya' think?)
- This is really kind of irrelevant, my kids are all thankfully thriving, I just threw it in there for the sake of argument.
So, why do I keep at it?
- Relational bond with students for the remainder of your life
- Intimate knowledge of students and boundless opportunities to pour into a priceless life.
- Sticky kisses from younger students
- Aha! moments
- Inside jokes
- Visible impact academically, spiritually, emotionally, etc.
- Truly immeasurable
Of course, I'll be back at it in the morning, and most mornings for the next 16 years. I wouldn't have it any other way.