Wednesday, August 28, 2013

SEA Rally at Eckstein Middle School

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From the SEA rally outside of Eckstein Middle School this afternoon. It was about 60 teachers and kids. Spoke with SEA head, Jonathan Knapp, who had no new information but said their issues were a "package deal" and "doable."

He also said the teachers could strike but they also could just go to work on September 4th under their old contract and continue negotiations. 

I spoke with a couple of teachers from Greenwood and Pinehurst.  Good spirits but feel that the district just chips away at both their salaries and their class time with students.  They worry that Common Core will continue that because "you teach what you test" and what happens to art, music and PE? 

What was interesting is that both Knapp and the teachers spoke out about how the supporting school staff - the front office staff and the professionals like nurses and speech pathologists - are getting more thrown at them all the time (just as teachers are).  The teachers said they are worried about kids falling through the cracks as everyone is asked to take on more.  When I mentioned that they are the teachers and the other people they are talking about are not, they said that everyone in the school building is part of the process of teaching.

I still feel confident in saying there will be no strike and school will start September 4th, new contract or no new contract.


Anonymous said...

I agree there won't be a strike. I'm confident both sides can reach a tentative agreement. Sure would have been nice if the district had continued negotiating until we had one, instead of shutting down on Thursday and saying, "We're done."

Now, teachers are spending time waving signs and attending extra SEA meetings instead of preparing for the year.

Komo had a totally sensationalist "Strike is in the air!" segment, which is going to get parents upset. The district is claiming strike is in the air so parents get upset.

If no tentative agreement is reached, I think we'll just teach with last year's contract and begin all the fun again next year.

The board and SEA should move this up so things are settled by May. This is ridiculous.


Anonymous said...

Yes Melissa. All ESAs (Speech Pathologists, OTs, PTs, Psychs.) are part of the education process. Like teachers, they are certificated, dues paying SEA members who want to be able to provide effective treatment to children so that they can access the curriculum. Unlike teachers, they do not have limits on the numbers of students they are expected to see. The district takes advantage of that, to the detriment of students.

United We Succeed, Divided We Fail

Anonymous said...

You know the old argument of 'Why would XXXX want to be superintendent unless we pay a high attract...keeep....talent?'

Why isn't this same argument floated with regard to teachers? If you want to keep talent, then pay them well and give them what they need? Why are teachers exempt while one placeholder after another fills the top spot and does, essentially, nothing of lasting value?

We've already told our grand child, your start might be a littler delayed, and precisely why. We haven't filled his head with 'Selfish teacher' nonsense. It's all about fairness. Even a 7-year-old gets it.

Mr. White

Mr. White

Anonymous said...

I'm going to second "United's" comment, Melissa. I'm sure you didn't mean it that way, but your wording implied that non-teaching staff are less important. I have a friend who is a school nurse in another state. There are 1600 kids in her school and she is responsible for all of them, whatever their needs, from chronic medical conditions to emergencies. She had to take education courses to become certified for the job. Another friend is a speech therapist and every year she has to take on more and more students. Like teachers, she has to deal with parents, and they are not always positive experiences.

I have teacher relatives, and I KNOW how hard they work, how little respect they often get, and how, in many, many districts, they're dealing with larger classes, fewer supports and pay issues. But they don't walk on water. Other staff deserve respect too.

Also United

Melissa Westbrook said...

Well, I certainly did not mean my remarks about other staff to sound off.

My point was that the teachers are not "every man for himself" but support EVERYONE in the building. There are those who believe the teachers are in it for themselves and I'm point out that it isn't true and the contract has not gone through because of that stance.

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