frenchpony (frenchpony) wrote,

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Not The Best Way To Be Thinking About This

Woke up this morning to the news that the Chicago Public Schools are having a teachers' strike. Now, the rational adult in me basically agrees with the teachers' union; public school teachers get treated and paid like crap even as we ask them to fix more and more complicated problems. I'm all for teachers getting the benefits they need.

But, honestly . . . well, I'm not a public school teacher. But I was a public school kid*, and in this instance, I find that my real interest is in what's happening with the students. The city has worked with the schools, parks, and some houses of worship to arrange what's essentially half-day babysitting for the students. No teaching will be going on, because the student-sitters aren't qualified to teach, but the kids will be fed breakfast and lunch, and there'll at least be something for them to do and adults around to keep them off the streets.

And I have to say, when I was a kid in the public school system . . . I would have killed for a teachers' strike like this one. I freely admit that it was mostly a combination of being one of the smartest kids in the whole town school system and not getting along well with most of my classmates for most of my schooling, but I really was not a big fan of school. I was perfectly capable of learning stuff whether or not there was a teacher in a classroom there to teach it to me, so the Pony Parents were never all that worried about my education. And I would have adored the disruption in the routine, the chance either to go to different places or to do different things in the same places. It's early September, the weather is perfect, and the parks are running programs. I would have liked that, too.

I know that most of the kids in CPS aren't thinking of the strike like this. I know that most of their parents are really worried, and probably rightly so, about their educations suffering and what kind of care arrangements the city will cobble together. The strike is a major pain in the ass for parents, and I'm sure there are a lot of kids who really like school who are terribly disappointed at not being able to go to class. Even I probably would have gotten bored long before the strike was resolved. But . . . those first few days would have been glorious.

So, SOLIDARITY with the teachers' union! And HUZZAH for at least a few days of non-routine just at the beginning of the year.

*That's the American public school system, by the way. No Choate or Deerfield for me.
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