Listen to Our Side!

In order to be a good teacher, you have to be patient, understanding, “professional” and compassionate. You have to have the best interests of your students at heart. You have to be motivated by more than just money. Chances are more than three out of four of you are women. According to the uproar about Natalie Munroe, you also must at all times keep your mouth shut and your hands off the keyboard.

It is also probably statistically significant (based on thirty years worth of participation in education) that a clearly large majority of teachers are probably Type B personalities. In other words, they try to do their jobs while paying for supplies out of their own pockets. The Type A teachers usually rise to positions in the administration.

“In 2008, the National Education Association released data on male and female teachers. Men accounted for less than 25% of all teachers in United States Public Schools. More men than women stated that salary is a significant factor in them pursuing other, more lucrative careers than teaching.”

“Because research shows that young boys may learn best with male teachers, the educational field has been stepping up efforts to recruit male teachers.”

This is at a time when state and national legislators are trying their hardest to economically attack the field of public education, targeting the economic welfare of their teachers by trying to strip them of their bargaining rights first and then going after their salaries. They are also going after nurses where men made up 5.6% in 2005, and public employees. I was unable to find a ‘net source of the ratio of men to women in that sector, but I understand there are much higher numbers of women than men in the fields that are not upper echelon management.

In other words, I see the men in the United States in the state and federal legislatures directly targeting mainly women in the search to balance the budget and, for another blog, their reproductive rights. I say men because like, in the state of Texas, the legislatures are composed primarily of men. It’s 80-20 in Texas. In the national legislatures the Senate is 83-37, the Representatives are 360-75.

The battle in Texas does not include bargaining rights because Texas is conveniently a “right to work” state. Teachers do not have unions. They have two main educational associations. Since I am retired and have no grandchildren, I am no longer directly involved in the education cuts. However, the state of Texas is not content with stopping with the working teachers. It also has its eyes on the pension funding of the retired teachers and their health care benefits. It’s not enough that they have used every excuse known not to give retired teachers a cost of living adjustment in ten years. Now they want to completely take over the pension fund seeing it as a great cash cow due to its high record of prudent financial management and its steady growth toward reaching the levels that were invested pre-recession.

This battle has been waging in Texas for years. They want their teachers to be self-sacrificing for thirty or more years, then they wish to be penurious when it comes time for the teachers to retire. This at a time when the average salary for Texas teachers is ranked 42 in the U.S. according to 2009 statistics.

Now another state is bursting upon the scene. Wisconsin is actively attacking the three above groups mentioned…nurses, teachers, and public employees. There is a vote at hand to deny these groups any bargaining rights. The main reason isn’t even financial.

This cause is not going to go away. Nurses, educators, public employees who generally generation after generation bend over and take it are saying “I will speak up this time.” The governor says that there are more affected people who are at home because they really support his cause. Don’t bet on it. The people are not there because they are still afraid to speak up. They are still taking it. I hope they get the courage soon. This is too important to try to placate those who think they have more power than American teachers, nurses, and public employees. That means in their own minds, probably everybody. “On, Wisconsin.” Namaste. Attic Annie

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