First of all, I want you to know that I do not claim to know anything about this hot topic. I can only address what I am hearing and seeing on social media or television. One of my favorite people in this whole world is a teacher in Oklahoma (Love you, Sis!), we have a granddaughter in Oklahoma public schools, and several of my friends are teachers here so, this is why I am concerned. (Yep, that is a run-on sentence. You know that because of a teacher. Hmm)
What I am hearing from the people that are not in the teaching profession is that all the teachers want is a raise. Wait! Before you teachers start commenting about how wrong that is, let me finish. This is all about my thoughts, so be sure you read this well before commenting. Read it twice if you need to. One of the main reasons a lot of people think this is because of a certain man in the OEA was heard on the news complaining that the raises that will be given are not enough. Then, our fabulous news media shows it over and over. Social media isn’t much better. I think the OEA needs to get on the same page as the teachers.
What I am hearing from the people that are in the teaching profession is that they would have rather had funding for the classroom than a raise. We need more teachers because they need fewer kids in each classroom, but there’s no money to hire more. We need new textbooks! When kids have to tape their textbooks together to be able to use them, that is no bueno. (Do you know what bueno means? Thank your Spanish teacher.) Oh, and get this, the tape used to tape those textbooks together was bought by the teacher or the parents.
I know that many teachers need a raise. I know that many of the staff need a raise. I also know many people who would be looking for a new job if they were not given a raise in a year or two years. How long have teachers gone without a raise?
What about the funding that the teachers are asking for? Do you go to work for a company expecting to supply your own pens, staplers, file folders, calculators, computers/tablets, supplies, or coffee (that’s a big one for many) needed to do your job? I for one loved being able to pick all new supplies to be provided by my employer when I started a job. I know a teacher that decided not to go to the Capital today to take a stand. Instead, she bought paint and was going to take the day to paint her classroom. Am I the only one that finds something wrong with this? She bought the paint? And she has to paint the classroom? Why is she doing this? Because, she takes pride in her classroom. She wants her kids to have a nice place to learn. (Yes, I said her kids because believe it or not every teacher I know worth a damn considers them their kids. Just ask one.)
Yes, I know the argument. Teachers only work nine months out of twelve, and they get paid all year. They get Spring Break, Thanksgiving and Christmas break, and they only work until four p.m.. I’ve heard it all, in fact I’ve used it. That was a long time ago, and after watching my sister and many teacher friends through the years, I know the facts. The facts are that teachers work almost all year, and they are paid for nine or ten months (I am not positive which) over a twelve month period. They are almost always working over every break they get. They get sick days and/or personal days, but if they run out of those days they have to pay a substitute teacher out of their own pocket. It isn’t that they just don’t get paid, they have to pay. They get off work at four in the afternoon. Yea, I know that isn’t true. I mean, they may leave the building most days by four, but they work at home, coach, sponsor extra-curricular activities, or work in the concession stand at school sporting events. Yes, I know, coaches get more money for coaching. I was married to a coach, and I know that they money they paid him as a contract coach didn’t amount to anything. Many teachers have more than one job. I’m sure I could go on and on, but this has to end sometime.
Speaking of this having to end sometime. When will this end? When will everyone be happy?
Not everyone is going to be happy in the end. If the teachers get the funding that they deserve, then legislature won’t be happy. If the teacher walk-out continues then parents won’t be happy. Finding childcare for that many on such short notice won’t be easy or free.
What needs to happen?
I don’t really know, but I will tell you what I think. You have your opinion and I have mine. We do not have to agree. We (most of us) are adults, and should be able to act accordingly. This is my website, therefore, I can say anything I want to here. Capiece?
I don’t think the teachers will get funding unless the walk-out causes pain and suffering for others. By pain and suffering I mean, I think parents need to have to find childcare for their kids or have to take off work to care for them. I think those parents then need to complain to the legislature, and make a stand any way that they can. People usually don’t react until it affects them. That is what I think might help teachers get the funding that they deserve.
Whatever happens, I am praying for the teachers, the kids, and even the legislature. I am praying for an outcome that will be better for everyone. In the end, the kids are the ones getting the short end of the stick. Our future teachers, employees, even politicians. How is this affecting them?