If you have children, or care about the future or both, then read this. Here are some extracts from a blog about the need for playtime and the upcoming teachers strike in Seattle. America is a useful crystal bellwether for us: we will have these battles soon…
“The union proposes tripling the amount of recess time for young children, demanding a minimum of 45 minutes a day on the playground (a number that this reporter still finds abusively low). The school district remains staunchly in favor of keeping the kids in their seats, even arguing for longer school days, a cruelty I can hardly stomach.
“I admire and respect teachers like Jesse Hagopian who are willing and able to stand up and lead, and while every teacher I know supports the union in this negotiation, every single one of them will also be heartbroken when schools do not open on time. You see, for most of us, teaching is more a calling than a vocation. Most of us would still do it even if we were paid less. We would do it even if our working conditions were worse. We would show up to teach every day no matter what, because we don’t do it for the money or the prestige or the security — we do it for the children. This is what makes our profession great, of course, but it is also a lever that our opponents use against us which is why we need our unions and our activist leaders. It’s also why we need parents to stick with us, even when it’s inconvenient like it is when teachers strike. Most of us, most of the time, are doing it for your children.
“Whatever happens in the coming days, please know that: they are doing it for your children.”