Monday, October 12, 2009

The Final Battle

The final battle will be waged tomorrow (provided my CL is back from a meeting or I can get someone else to go with me.) There will probably be some sort of victory on my side but the cost has been high. Wounds on both sides have been severe and weak trusts have further been weakened. I keep asking myself why I got involved in this skirmish to begin with. The material stakes for me, winning or losing are almost negligent. I'm not in any kind of trouble. There is not even a counseling memo as a possible result.

The psychological results, on the other hand are high. Every day I see administrators becoming more and more empowered and I see teachers, even tenured teachers near to retirement cowering in a corner, afraid to speak, afraid to do anything that will draw any extra attention to them and I get enraged. There are admins that see this and prey upon it. Not only are teacher rights being violated, but this violation is in turn hurting our students. By not speaking up, we are condoning this behavior, allowing it to grow, similar to the way the Germans allowed Hitler to obtain control of Germany. (Okay, I am exaggerating here, but I wanted to make a point.)

The UFT of today is not the UFT of old. The union is not here to defend us and to fight for us. It is up to us, the teachers, to take a stand and to fight for what we know is correct. We are the ones on the front line and we know what to do if success is going to be possible. There is strength in numbers. Many years ago, as a young teacher, I went on strike. I took a risk. I lost quite a bit of money but I did what I had to do to insure my future, the future of teaching in general. Things worked out well but, if they didn't, I would have been all right. Teaching is not the only profession for a college graduate. I had a miserable, mean spirited AP in those days. Our department banded together, found her Achilles heal and fought her tooth and nail. Eventually she was forced to retire. We were young but we were brave. We stood together and withstood the forces of evil. Here, except for my CL, I stand alone. The wannabe allies cower in the background, offering advice, even cheering me on, as they know if I am victorious, it will be a victory for them as well.

Believe it or not, I still have a soft spot for my enemy. You see, we were friends (or at least friendly) many years ago before it came into power. Even after ascension to the throne, we were friendly and had many conversations, both official and unofficial, about things going on. My voice was a welcomed voice, a respected voice and even when my ideas were not adopted, I knew they were given consideration and rejection only happened after much thought. There was collaboration and team work and while everything wasn't honky dory, it wasn't like it is now. As I look at my enemy today, I wonder what happened to create this change, to produce a person so evil and vindictive that I (and many others) are pained to be in the same room with it. I wonder if there is a medical problem on or something I (or we) have done to create this monster. Believe it or not, I wish my enemy no harm. It must be stopped and that is the intent of this war. Maybe there is a rehab center for the evil, some place it can be sent where recovery will be possible.

I don't know what tomorrow's battle will bring. Can anyone really be a victor in this?


Anonymous said...

Please explain the background of this battle.

alex said...

You sound weak and pathetic. Just like the rest of these sheep-like "teachers". If you love this stupid job then just take all the abuse that you get and stop whineing because it comes with the job. And, as you know, you are very much alone in everything that you do.

Pissedoffteacher said...

Alex--you sound like a great guy. Too bad there is no way for me to get in touch with you. You have so much to offer.

No job should come with abuse and if you believe it should, then you need psychiatric help. Please get some soon.

Chaz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chaz said...

Alex you should be going after Joel Klein and his non-educator gang. We need more teachers like pissed off who speaks their minds not less.

If you are a teacher, shame on you for insulting the very people we teachers need to expose the truth.