The NY Post printed an op-ed today by a teacher, in response to Sager’s column from last week. We’ve gotten letters from several teachers with different refutations of Sager’s piece, but credit to the NY Post for publishing a letter from a classroom teacher.
Have you cried in frustration because when you decided to be a teacher, you thought you would be teaching students who understood that education is a way to get ahead in life, not something to be fought kicking and screaming?
Do you think that suburban teachers have to teach a classroom of 34 students — or to worry about their safety in their school? I don’t think so.
To top it all off, city teachers have been without a raise or a contract for over two years. Have you filled up your gas tank lately? It costs more to live today than it did two years ago.
Maybe if the city worried less about test scores and more about improving all aspects of the school system, conditions would improve. Maybe teachers aren’t writing on that Web site about how to improve schools or help children because we have tried everything we can think of and nothing has worked.
We are decent, educated, hardworking people who simply are frustrated and exhausted by what we have to put up with day after day in order to educate the minority of students in this city who want to learn and succeed.
UFT President Randi Weingarten recently said, “The sad truth is this: The city won’t be able to keep good teachers if it refuses to pay them what they’re worth.” How true.
Update: Read this speech from Diane Ravitch that makes a similar point about the importance of the UFT.