For my readers who don’t live in Los Angeles, here’s what you should know about the last week:
It rained. A lot. For consecutive days. And in L.A., that is news in and of itself.
But on top of that, our Los Angeles public school teachers went on strike. The last time teachers resorted to a strike was back in 1989. I was in junior high school (back then it wasn’t called middle school like it is now), and the strike lasted 9 days.
This strike is different. At least for me. This time around, I view the strike through the eyes of a former public school student, a former public school teacher, and a current public school parent.
So for the first time in his school career, my son didn’t attend school on days he was well. We discussed it as a family and we all decided that in support of our teachers, we weren’t crossing the picket line. (And in all honesty, there was little to no real learning going on at these under-staffed school campuses, and as the strike continued, student attendance continued to decline.)
Much of what our teachers are fighting for hasn’t changed since the last strike. Our teachers want what is best for our children. Smaller class sizes. Less testing and more teaching. More support staff, including a full-time nurse each day.
Our public school classrooms are marvels. I miss the magic of being in a classroom with a group of children and seeing that spark, seeing that light bulb go off, seeing the understanding. There is nothing like it. Our teachers don’t want to be outside their schools picketing. They want to be inside their rooms teaching. The sooner, the better.
And on that note, I’d like to share a post I wrote several years ago. I think during this time especially, it’s important to remember just how valuable our public schools are. Click here to read my essay, “6 Reasons Why We Should Be Thankful For Public Schools.”