Daily Archives: March 6, 2011

Thank you, Lord!

1 week left in the deadline year from hell. Thank goodness for the last three days of last week, which were ridiculously long, but fun and inspirational because of the kids there working. Wish more would’ve been there, but, hey, the ones who were there, were rock stars. Hopefully after this week, life will revert to something resembling normal. Saturday I hope to march in the Save Texas Schools rally. Unfortunately, a lot of the general public thinks teachers get the same kind of benefits as regular state employees. They say things like “We pay in to our retirement and get matching from our employers, why shouldn’t you?” They miss the point that we PAY INTO TRS, and we earn crappy returns on that, AND we don’t get a Social Security option. They say we’re “part-time” employees because we get summers off, without taking into consideration that we’re paid for the months we work, but that pay is spread out over 12 months. That most teachers spend hours and hours at home or after hours in their schools working and never see a dime for that time, and most teachers don’t want to be compensated for that after hours time. They say, “shoot with all this technology, we don’t even need teachers anymore.” I teach some of the best and brightest students in my high performing school, and yet, I still have to reteach concepts on a regular basis. We have amazing discussions and debates over tough topics. A machine’s never taking the place of a real teacher. The end.
Texas teachers aren’t unionized. We haven’t broken the state. (Testing might have, but WE have not!) We’re public servants, and we, for the most part, love our jobs. Taking money out of our pockets isn’t going to fix the economy. It’s going to plunge the state into a very bad place. Not to mention what it will do to our students. I taught 3-yr-old choir one year. I had 10-15 lovelies every Wednesday. I can’t imagine classrooms of 4-6-yr-olds packed with 24+ children and teacher charged to TEACH not babysit. Yes, we have a constitutional obligation to stay in budget. So look at what we’re wasting money on and cut there. OR if it’s costing that much more to run the state, bite the bullet and RAISE taxes. AND hell-o AUstin, that Rainy Day Fund? It’s pouring outside. I think the word FLOOD comes to mind. Dip into the fund. We have it for emergencies. $27 billion short IS an emergency.