You have undoubtedly heard the news reports, radio attack ads, CPS representatives, the “CEO” of Chicago Public Schools, and the Mayor saying how teachers are walking out on the students if we strike. To teachers who have dedicate our entire professional lives to students that comment and comments like those are beyond offensive.
Teachers just can’t punch in and think about kids and punch out and not think about kids anymore. We, teachers are always trying to improve our lesson plans, grade, figure out ways to reach the students who are withdrawn, quiet, confrontational or disrupting class. We just can’t shut our caring about young people off when the bell rings.
Teachers in no way shape or form want to strike, we want to be working with and educating your children. The CTU which represents and is elected by 26,000 educators across this city has had over 50 negotiation meetings with CPS since November 2011. In all of that time “CEO” Brizard has attended zero of those meetings, which means there was no one from CPS at the bargaining table with any educational experience. So how do you bargain on what is best for students with people who have never taught students?
So in 10 days if we strike, we will be walking out for and in some cases with the students not out on them.