Monday, September 28, 2009

I'm rallying for a pony

Today I received in the mail a letter from my union informing me that we will be rallying on October 8. Then I got a robocall. I'm sure that if the WTU had responded to any of my seven requests to actually get a WTU email account (which they did not) I would likely have received an email. "A rally," you might say. "At least they're planning to do something." Wrong again, loser.

The goal-oriented union leaders are calling this a "Rally for Respect." BUH. We're facing layoffs, there's a new evaluation system that many are mad about, and we've been in negotiations on a contract for like fifteen years. But the intangible "respect" -- that's what we're rallying for.

Real leaders have actual, measurable goals -- voting rights, increased wages, new parks. We could have picked any of the dozens of problems facing DCPS teachers and rallied about that. But that would have involved decision making, and we shy away from decision making. Of course, the actual goal of this rally is that Candi Peterson already had a rally, and George Parker can't be seen as doing nothing, so we're having a rally. Go team!

Now, I do agree that the lack of respect for the profession of teaching is a problem, and it certainly contributes to the many challenges we face in our schools. But the solution is not to rally, it's to change the way teaching is perceived through public relations, education, and -- oh, I don't know -- an actual change in the way teachers are trained and evaluated.

Instead, we "Rally for Respect." Ugh. At least the name is alliterative.


Glenn Watson said...

I'm a teacher but not in DC. I love to read the various DC teacher blogs. They are interesting.

But lately it is getting downright sad. Maybe everything will be alright for you guys but it seems like one disaster after another.

You're in real trouble. I'm pulling for you.

Anonymous said...

Yep, I got the same robocall. It was stupid. No longterm, no tactics and after the rally what? why is the rally after teachers are getting fired? Candi Peterson had a great rally. It was very inspirational. When i am around her I am uplifted opposed to the others who are stiff shirts ready to launch into the secret union handshake. By the way, what ever happened to that great contract. This sucks.