Just get a load of this and get disgusted.
I’m somewhat close to this, as my wife has been an elementary school teacher for 32 years. She still gets up at 5am every morning, though school doesn’t start until 8:30. And I rarely see her back home before 5pm (and often enough, 6-7pm), though school gets out at 2:30.
I can’t convince her to take the ridiculous retirement package she bargained for (about 70% of her pay for life, at this point) and run—do her own thing. Instead, she still does all this for 30 cents on the dollar.
Over the years, I’ve seen her hand picked for more things than I can count—most recently to be part of a team that went in to fix a badly broken school using an experimental Project Based Learning system. It’s been highly successful in this school, comprised of 90%+ Black, and Latino and Asian immigrants—many who don’t speak English or even read in their native language, yet.
Most recently, she pushed forward and wrote a private grant application to install a gym in the school. She wasn’t even aware of the long odds that caused most others to be uninterested in even trying. She just did it. She got it.
Turns out, it was a $100,000 grant, and only one elementary school in the entire state of California got it—Bea’s school of mostly brown-skins. It was such a big deal that Gov Jerry Brown came to personally cut the ribbon on the very impressive facility a couple of weeks ago. Yea, $100k worth of state-of-art gym equipment—in an elementary school of “throwaways” that nobody cares about (except Bea and her team).
In the 18 years I’ve known her, I can’t recall a single time she cared much for, cheered, or otherwise was even up to speed on what the union was up to. All she’s interested in doing is getting in front of the kids every day. She has about a year’s worth of unused paid sick leave at this point. At the same time, I have heard her lament the problem of not being able to get rid of fucked-up teachers.
She’s not alone. Her teacher friends, of which there are many, are much like her. Generally, the problem is not with teachers, and would not be, except for the union. Fixing public schools is as easy as outlawing teacher unions with a stoke of legislative pen.
Public teacher unions are the very core of evil in America. They strike at its very roots, adversely.
Update: Note @13m into the video. I didn’t mention that when Bea gets home, many nights she spends an hour or two on the phone with parents, often struggling through her limited ability to speak Spanish. She calls them. She’s always seen parental partnership as critical to her objectives with the kids.