Although I am no longer in a school setting, I am still, and always will be, an educator at heart. My teacher, instructional aide, principal, and other school staff friends are always on my mind. They are on my mind even more so right now as politicians and union leaders are making decisions that will affect all of you, often without consulting your expertise, about opening schools for in-person instruction (which I discussed in my post of yesterday) this coming school year.
I’ve been wondering if this is our time as educators? These are just thoughts, ponderings, maybe even fantasies.
The question running consistently through my mind is, what would happen if every single educator decided they have had enough of being treated as afterthoughts in education and viewed as expendable within society?
What if every educator refused to return to campus-based instruction because it isn’t safe for their students, for themselves, or for their own families to do so?
What if every educator refused to return to campus until funding is constitutionally set that schools will be fully funded, meaning teachers did not have to personally buy supplies or food for their students?
What if every educator refused to return to campus until funding included a minimum of one full-time (at least seven hours/day five days/week) certified staff per school of a counselor, social worker, nurse, librarian, assistant principal, PE teacher, art teacher, computer teacher, and music teacher?
What if every educator refused to return to campus until all schools have working air conditioning, consistent heat, new roofs, high speed internet, new windows, safe playground equipment, essentially having all crumbling schools repaired, renovated, or replaced with a new school?
What if every educator refused to return to campus until all teachers earn a minimum of $75,000 per year, with salary increases tied to the national cost of living index?
What if every educator refused to return to campus until national common sense gun control laws are enacted to help reduce the threat of school shootings, and shootings in the commons?
What if every educator refused to return to campus until wearing masks is mandatory with “teeth” for not wearing one?
What if every educator refused to return to campus until safety protocols are set, by the state and by medical professionals, to have as safe a return as possible for ALL who will be on campus?
What if every educator realized their current power at this point in time, a unique time in which they will never have the same amount of power as they do now to effect change?
What if all 3.7 million teachers, and the millions of other school staff, came together to make a statement, as one force to effect change, since they can’t fire everyone and there are already shortages of teachers and school staff in our country?
I’m fairly certain none of this will come to be because we educators care about your children as much as, and yes, sometimes more than, their own families do.
Think about the positive effect educators could have on the future of our country, and the state of education, for generations to come if we came together as one for all and all for one.