Thursday, January 17, 2013

Professionalism and perception

So the fiscal situation in our district is getting more and more interesting.  I won’t list details except to say that I think teachers might have been taken advantage of and that there is an opportunity for explanation and reconciliation.  If not, I’d be very irritated.  And if you know me at all, that means something pretty serious is going on.

Yet I get this e-mail from our union hierarchy about a meeting tonight:

Don’t let yourself, your students, or your fellow teachers down, please show up today!!!”

I’m going to assume that someone slipped on a banana peel when they wrote that quote because the first 95% of the e-mail was professionally written.  If balance was maintained, I’m puzzled how a discussion about teachers wanting a raise has to do with teaching our students.  Ok, I’m not really puzzled at all.  It has nothing to do with classroom performance, etiquette, work ethic, or why I used a Tickle Me Elmo to explain the concept of scarcity. 

Instead of a flaming response, I simply replied the following:

“While I agree that the issue and the meeting are very important, please refrain from using any terminology that tells teachers that they are letting down students by not attending union functions. 

It demeans what we do and why we do it.”

See?  Polite, sweet, supportive, yet very clear that connecting union activities to my performance as a teacher has little or no connection.  By the way, I did not attend the meeting.  I was 500 feet away in the gym coaching the JV Boys Basketball team. 

I was teaching.

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