Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Mostly Useless Baldwin-Whitehall Teachers Striking-Comments from a Former Teacher

When are we going to rid ourselves of the USELESS teacher union?

I am (un)proud to say I went to Baldwin and it hardly got me prepared for college. I needed to retake all my math classes because those A's and B's they gave me at the high school amounted next to fuckin nothing (they might as well have given me D's and F's).

I was a teacher at one of the better area high schools, I swear to God, for one year before persuing work in the business world. All the whining in the teachers' lounge and disgusting union meetings made me ill. I couldn't fathom making less money than a teacher who showed popular movies twice a week in his math class because he was too old to care anymore. What a loser.

Here are some facts to remember, before you get swept up in the Union Rhetoric:

-Teachers get off between mid-June and mid-August and have regular vacations like the rest of us (for the most part) plus most holidays the kids have. They will try and spin it that they will still have to work in the summer, and that is true for new teachers writing lessons, but anything extra they do besides lesson planning, THEY GET PAID FOR IT. One of my collegues made an extra couple grand every year being the teacher rep for some science shit, and basically showed up once a Saturday for a few weeks, plus for an event and a few after school gigs. Nice money for something they should do anyway. Trust me that old teachers NEVER do lesson planning, so their summers are spent at the beach.

-In some districts, teachers of 17-18 years make upwards of 85k! Baldwin is listed as a POOR PERFORMING SCHOOL DISTRICT and gets a near average salary for the area and pretty high for the rest of the country? Can you imagine you are paying a below average employee an average wage?

-Teachers get tenure usually after 3 years. Can you imagine, that after 3 years you never have to compete for your job again? The only stress you create is your own, because guess what, you get a PROSCIBED RAISE each year no matter how good or bad you do. Talk about socialism.

I could rant about this all day. Don't confuse this kind of union with the unions that have faught for workers rights from greedy corporations throughout history. This is a greedy union, who pushes their propaganda down to good and bad teachers alike, and makes them feel they are worth more than they really are. Like they are owed something. This isn't stealing from a greedy company, this is stealing from YOU the tax payer.

As always, I have an easy solution to all of this:
-Pay teachers a base salary, plus an amount per class they teach. This keeps it fair, and ensures you put the best teachers on the most classes.
-Eliminate tenure. NO OTHER JOBS have tenure outside of education. Eliminating tenure puts stress on teachers to keep up strong performance every year. Keep the great teachers, do away with the shitty ones.
-Not all teachers are created equal. So don't pay them that way. Pay the great ones MORE than 85k and well before that 18 year mark. Eliminate or demote to subs the shitty teachers.

Our kids deserve better. Our taxmoney and citizens deserve better. There is nothing wrong with our schools that eliminating the teacher's union won't fix.
Even Steve Jobs, founder of Apple and pretty liberal, has choice words to say about the oligarchy called the teacher union.

I can't urge you enough to defy these bums. Remember, Baldwin teachers are making an average of 55k to teach kids at a below average level. More money isn't going to help anyone but the teachers line their pocketbooks, and the union leaders have more money. It is more money PLUS newer and better teachers MINUS a teacher's union that will solve our problems. Just think back to your time and imagine that that bitchy masculine woman of a gym teacher was making 85k. Do you think your parents' tax money was worth it???

Its too bad that the minority of amazing and caring teachers out there have to get lumped in with the rest of the lazy worthless bums that are babysitters and not teachers.

Don't honk in support of them when you drive by. Throw them the finger, and a few choice words. Make this strike or any they do in the future MISERABLE for them.


Shawn said...

...I'm having a similarly difficult time understanding the positives of a teacher's union.


Antonio said...

Wow-seems like your blog is garnering some attention. It could very well be because of the strength and clarity of your writing.

Gravis said...

Tell you what, Antonio, how about I pay you 30 cents an hour, and you can train me on how to be expert writer like yourself, or in the likes of Hemmingway or Stein. Typical 13 year old Digg douche.

Anonymous said...

Gravis, maybe you should have spent a little more time paying attention in English class and a little less time complaining about all things under the sun. Seems to me you do not understand the very situation at hand. These teachers are fighting for what is fair and equitable. But before I go any farther, you do know what equitable means?

Gravis said...

I understand it very well as I was a teacher myself anony-anus. I know Baldwin teachers do a below average job and they get above average pay, how is that equitable?

You should look up some English rules too, dickhead. Farther is used with a real distance. Here is an example:

'Anonymous' should drive FARTHER from Pittsburgh, perhaps to Greenland and into a lake of herpes.

Was that good? Are my English skills getting better yet? I guess Antonio's training is helping out!

Davis said...

I looked at that report you posted and though it is slightly dated, I don't think there are many better reports that summarize the garbage that goes on in our schools. None of the pay matches up with the abilities of the teachers. I know that some schools are harder to work at than others, but if you want more pay you should demand results from it, not just "setting it to meet the needs of the rest of society"

I am forwarding this post off to my friends that are teachers at nearby schools. Great post and I agree 100%, but I guarantee they will have something to say about this. I hope you let them have it, and please don't block their comments.
Keep up the great blog, and add some more functionality and articles to it.

Anonymous said...

can't agree with you enough dude. used to live in the burgh now out here in LA and shit doesnt change. your highschool was pretty suburban as I can remember, at least out here they have gangs and shit to deal with.
Keep blogin.

old man neill said...

i taught for 10 years in chicago before moving to pittsburgh.

that said...i'm totally with you on this one.

jason said...

public schools in the United States are a disgrace. i agree about the teachers union (it sucks), but there are more factors involved with our churning out dumb kids, like family life, discipline, a desire to learn in the first place, etc.
we have a cushy life in this country where its easy to get by, so school becomes not a dire necessity, but a day care.

DC said...

How do you recommend "we" remove a Union???

$.30/hr. Gravis? A bit extreme from the current $40/hr, and thats with a 2080 hr year, which I know no teacher works. Or am I wrong?
Why don't you pay him what we pay our teachers?

Gravis said...


I don't know what you are talking about. Who is making $30 an hour? What is 2080? Is this an angry post? If it is, at least call me names like moron, then I will know..

Anonymous said...

LOL. This is hilarious. YOU made the choice not to pay attention and use your education.

Do you think they gave you A's and B's because you deserved it?

The fact is, the retards and foreigners in these school districts are holding the ENTIRE class back. They are not allowed to move past the slower kids. They are not allowed to discipline the children because their liberal parents will have a cow. The parents for the most part are beer swilling Pittsburgh whitetrash that believe their children are angels and never do wrong.
The schools are out of hand. The principals and the like do NOT want waves, and sending a kid to the office does NOTHING.
Education is failing because of the parents and the no child left behind act.
Think about it? If you were in a battle and the everyone had to wait for the slow guy , shoot like the guy that can't shoot straight, and you weren't allowed to get rid of the guy that was shooting his own mates, how fast would the entire force be wiped out?

The SAME exact thing is happening in our schools.

I'm sorry you are so angry, maybe you should have taken some college prep classes and out of school college preparation like I had to do. I didn't blame my teacher(s), I blamed myself for not being prepared initially. After a bit however, college was a breeze. I work in the computer industry and can't imagine being a teacher. Sure I would like to have my 'summer off' but consider ALL OF THEM MUST HAVE THEIR MASTERS DEGREE, if I had my masters I would be probably making closer to 80k per year. Most of the teacher I know make about 30-40 k with their master's degree. 3 months off a fair tradeoff for about 40 k?!?!??!
Not to mention, I would kill a kid if I had to be a teacher but that's another point...I just don't have patience.

Anonymous said...

To clarify DC's comment. I think he was poking fun at the fact that you wanted to hire antonio for the low price of 30 cents per hour, despite the fact that his lessons were helping you improve your English, thus making him one of the high-performing teachers you are so eager to financially compensate.

I believe the post was in jest.

Ila said...

I understand your aversion for the whole concept of tenure, but having researched the issue a bit more, I find that it is quite necessary for the well-being of the students. Consider the two following points:
1. How do you judge the quality of a teacher? In many universities students evaluate their professors at the end of a course, and studies have shown that students will rate their professors better if the professors offers them chocolate in class. In other words, with such a system, teachers will have to PLEASE their students instead of focusing their efforts on educating them. Often, what it takes for a teacher to educate students properly will not necessarily please the students. Is it fair to tie down the teachers like this, and can you really trust students to fairly judge their teachers?
2. Suppose you want to judge the teachers by some other criteria, such as performance by students on tests. Suddenly the teacher has no freedom to teach the way s/he wants to teach, and has to transform the class into an exam-oriented course just so that the students do well. I have been in such an academic environment before, and it was stifling- the poor teacher couldn't even teach us the stuff we actually were interested in learning because she had to focus on preparing us for our exam.
Annoying Pittsburgh, I can understand your qualms about pay completely, but I think that it is essential for teachers to have the freedom to teach however they feel is the most effective way of teaching, and the freedom to feel like they can tell a student who is misbehaving to shut up without any fear of being fired for it. Before you make such an incriminating complaint, you should think of solutions that would actually work. I am a senior in high school, with some terrible teachers and some great ones. I know the system isn't perfect, but I don't think it should change until we come up with a truly better solution.