A long time ago, whenever you read the paper or watched the news, it seemed as if the postal workers were constantly getting ready to walk off the job. It was as if you couldn’t please them, no matter what they got. Well, it has been many years since we have seen a full blown postal strike, with most of the negotiations being hammered out before deadlines, or with rotating strikes, where different facilities walked out, but not the full system shut down that people feared.

Now it is the teachers of our children. Sure, some will say that the government is to blame, while others say the teachers are getting greedy. To be honest, I don’t have inside knowledge, but perception is 9 tenths of the truth, just as possession is 9 tenths of the law. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but that’s the way it is.

On what feels like an almost daily basis, I seem to hear about one disgruntled teachers union or another complaining about preparation time, class size, etc. and it gets so tiring. Once again, enough is never enough.

For their part, teachers have one of the hardest jobs that I can think of. They sometimes face a hostile crowd, youth gangs, and unruly students. They are not allowed to discipline them, and are faced with verbal abuse by naive parents who think their children are perfect. The children today are ruder, more beligerent, and self centered. On the other side of the coin, teaching as a profession is a choice. If it is too hard, or not worth the money, quit. Find something else to do, but stop wasting our childrens time. You will find it hard to replace a job that offers the golden pension, benefits, and salary that you receive now.

It is also true that with most governments today, you must fight for what you want. While there is nothing wrong with that, you must realize that for most small children, a teacher is a role model, or at least should be.

I wish you would stop teaching Johnny that it is ok to hold hostages to get the government to acquiesce. It is a sad day when the only recourse that your union can find is to hold the children and their parents hostage while you go to war with your employer. The latest spat involving elementary teachers is a good example. To cancel a prom after the students have worked towards it is the height of selfishness.

My children wanted to go see the new Star Wars film when it came out. Can you imagine how it would sound if I told them I wasn’t taking them because me and mom were having a disagreement? What if I said to them that I would take them if mom would let me have what I wanted?

I don’t know about you, but one of the most exciting times in school was the last day. No work, just play. It was great, and I always felt as though I had earned it. Johnny is going to find out that it doesn’t matter if he earned it this year, because Johnny is no longer a student. No, Johnny is now a pawn.

I know we have to pay our bills, and life is unforgiving with things like that, but there was a day, in a time of ideals, when teaching wasn’t just a career. It used to be that our nurses and police and teachers did what they did because they could reach somebody. It was not just a job, but a calling. It is a sign of the times when nobody seems to care about anyone else anymore.

So fight your fight. If you feel you are worth more, demand it. Stand the ground you think you deserve. But please, stop punishing Johnny.

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