Thursday, April 10, 2008

I didn't march

On Tuesday I had a choice.

I could do my usual and conduct Open Gym for a variety of current and ex-Ukiah High School students, or I could join a few dozen teachers marching for "A Funeral for Education". I chose the gym, where about 20 showed up for an excellent two hour session of hoops. I was criticized a tad from a couple of teachers that had concerns about 'unity'.

List of reasons for not attending:

1) Open gym. The kids love it. I think it's valuable.

2) If it was the district as a whole protesting the idiotic budget measures of Ahnold, I would have seriously considered attending. However, during a time of belt tightening it would behoove the union to start looking at this situation like a business, not like an 'us vs. them' mentality. The union insisted that the district was not going to be mentioned in the protest, until of course, it was. And what comment did the paper print? The district one of course.

3)

It was just after 4 p.m. Tuesday when dozens of Ukiah Unified School District teachers and their supporters filed somberly down Perkins Street toward Alex Thomas Plaza in what was dubbed a "Funeral for Public Education."

The sign-toting funeral procession then made a left turn down State Street, the wooden coffin provided by Eversole Mortuary figuratively holding the 350-plus-year-old institution. A great number of the mourners in attendance were clad in black garments in memory of the dearly departed.

Um. I just can't take that very seriously.

4. When the elementary teachers that run our union actually take the high school under consideration when making decisions, I'll consider us unified. But I've been approached a couple of times by high school teachers saying that we should do things that are a) not in the best interest of the high school, and b) not in the best interest of kids. All in the name of unity. We might need a major look at the we as a profession are looking to accomplish as a union. "Fair days work at a fair day's pay" if I'm not mistaken.

I have to admit, our site holds a share of the blame. Younger teachers don't attend any union functions and many teachers overall seem very blah about the issue. I can't feel blah with a small group having some control over my pay, work hours, and health benefits.
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