Friday, April 15, 2011

Thank you Gov. Walker: Lamenting the loss of our best teachers...

I can’t describe how empty I feel watching the best teachers in our schools leaving the kids they care about behind. As a parent of an 8 and 12 year old, I’m especially close to this horrific loss of talent.

This isn’t the first time Republicans have affected my life.

The Bush/Republican administration obliterated my business, leaving me jobless and riveted to this uncompensated blog. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing this. This is a continuation of daily show prep I did for my old liberal talk radio show. But now these ideological snakes are messing with my kids. 

I can’t help but get emotional thinking about the teachers I met during our parent conferences, who cared and knew everything about my son, and the technics they came up with that improve his performance.
jsonline: (When) Karen Scharrer-Erickson teacher of 43 years entered the room … she burst into tears. "I am totally not ready," Scharrer-Erickson, a literacy coach at the Academy of Accelerated Learning, said this week. "I never thought about retiring until the (Gov.) Scott Walker situation, because this school is so special and I am working with the most incredibly caring teachers I have ever known." 
Some school districts are seeing record numbers of senior teachers such as Scharrer-Erickson turn in their retirement paperwork. 
In the Mukwonago School District … 40 teachers have submitted their retirement requests … double what Prairie View Elementary School music teacher Jan Rolfe said she has seen in her nearly three decades with the district. She's leaving sooner than she expected … also fears what will happen to the schools in her district when she and the other teachers leave.
Here’s the bottom line for me, as a dad:
"We're the teachers that these parents have been waiting for their kids to have," Rolfe said. "We're the teachers that their brothers and sisters have had. We're the teachers that mentor the newer teachers. And we're all going to be gone."

1 comment:

Annie K. said...

I am a parent myself. My own parent was a teacher, as were two aunts and 3 uncles. I am a former scout leader, committee person, and one of the "always at school" parent volunteers. Every day after dropping my kids off at school, I'd go back home, make myself "respectable", deal with the canine, do whatever dinner prep needed doing - and go back to school for several hours. For free. On the playground, in the teachers work room, the library, in the hall helping totally ignored-by-parents kid with their reading.
I got headlice from the downtown kids in my after school group. I passed it to my own kids, it was horrible.
I helped in the school lunchroom and kitchen because the lady there couldn't keep up after the admins refused to hire more dishwashers and just added the duties to existing staff. So for a while I washed dishes.
During those same years I watched one of my kids be bullied by her teacher, and sat in a meeting with a Hmong girl and her non-English speaking mother when a racist bastard of a teacher told the admins the girl was involved in a bomb scare at the H.S.
It ain't all roses in the schools, and we all know it. I made enemies and improved my reputation as a Local Nutjob - but they let the girl alone then and the cop took his gun left. Painful and really damn embarrassing, but worth it.
That's all true. The story goes on, but I'm stopping here. I busted my ass so many times with "forgotten" kids in the public school environment and got in there and did stuff no one else wanted to do- I sit here with no ass left at all, also jobless, faithless, and bitter as hell. During those years I believed such efforts were a semi-spiritual commitment to my "fellow man', a type of service to see a need in my immediate environment and fill it. In line w/ Buddhist precepts etc. Now I look back on being seen as a fool and a sucker. We all live and learn.

I know I don't know you and your particulars. But you sure as heck don't know me either. And no one is going to. Even so, anyone assuming things about how each of us arrived at our own opinions, or how much one or another of us may or may not have "paid their dues" or learned from real life experience and not just rhetoric and talking points, is a fool.
The one thing I can sure you is - ALL of this "political stuff" is 100% over-the-top personal, life-altering, and vital for all of us. Well, except the hacks and posers who treat this whole thing like a game or a sport...there's always plenty of those. I'll be sexist and say that the male penchant for sports, combined with political interest, is not at all a good thing. Too much "team spirit", fratboy mentality and gamesmanship. Way too much.
But yeah- parents, a lot of us are that.