I have listened to the mess in Wisconsin as long as I can! As many of you are probably sick of hearing, I taught for 38. The last eight years were the most miserable in my life because of my principal. I swore that I would do my best to tell the REAL truth about schools when I retired.
During my working years I worked in Ohio, Florida, Connecticut, and South Carolina. In all four states I was encouraged to join the NEA – now known as the villain. In 1965 it was simply a group of teachers who wanted to exchange ideas and knowledge. Later, it became a lobby. In all of the states, except SC, I was encouraged to join the NEA but there were no repercussions if I did not. I usually joined because it gave teachers insurance if we were sued by a parent. We NEVER had collective bargaining rights! When the dues became exorbitant, when EVERYONE working in the school system was allowed to join and the NEA always stood behind the administration instead of the teachers, when I learned what they were doing in other states, I stopped joining!
I have spoken to friends in Ohio and Florida and I can tell you that the people behind this outrageous onslaught are NOT the teachers. Oh, yes, they are out on the picket lines. Why? Their administration has told them that if they do not, they will find a reason to have them fired!
The Principal (who in reality works much fewer hours than teachers) make at least double what a teacher makes. The Superintendent makes three to four times as much. And many times neither has ever been in a classroom nor has as high a degree as many of their teachers! The system is top heavy with unneeded administrators! I watched it happen over the years.
Do the schools systems have enough money? YES –PLENTY! Do the classrooms have enough money? NO!. I often taught with not enough textbooks to go around but I had 3 administrators for every teacher!
And when they tell you that there are 25 students in a classroom – bull hockey! They count everyone who works in the school – principals, vice-principals, librarians, secretaries, as well as nurses and counselors (who may visit the school once or twice a month) They use that number to divide into the amount of students to come up with a classroom count!
The solution to this problem is very simple. Fire two-thirds of the administrators – the schools will be much more efficient and the school budget will be cut in al least half!
Teachers are threatened with the loss of their jobs if they say one word about what really goes on in the system. The one upside to being retired is that they can’t fire me for speaking out! Oh, and my great pension was cut by $300 a month beginning this year. So much for a guaranteed pension. I am really living it up on $1700 a month.
South Carolina is a right to work state and I quit the NEA when I was told that they would not listen to my complaints about our Principal. Many others just quit teaching. I couldn’t afford to at that point. I still retired before I wanted to but I just couldn’t take it any longer. And you could not apply at another school without your principal’s consent!
This union is NOT representing the teachers or students; they are representing the school boards who rubber stamp whatever the Administrators want! It is time for them to go!
I just saw another live report on Fox News from Wisconsin and I was horrified. I cannot believe that those are real teachers that are shouting obscenities and trying to block cameras. I wish a reporter would ask them for proof that they are teachers. If they are indeed, then they should be fired instantly because they are not fit to be in the classroom. In 1965 I had to sign an ETHICS form. It was just a simple statement that I would do nothing to embarrass myself or my students. It was required (along with passing a two day test) to get my teaching certificate.
I notice that now there is talk of buying out those who have been there the longest. They are also probably the best, the most dedicated, and truer to the real values of American education. By buying them out, the schools are left with the least experienced, those most likely taught under a very liberal doctrine and studies show that they are most likely to leave the profession within five years. Something is rotten in Denmark!