Yesterday, teachers in 900 schools across the Los Angeles Unified School District went on strike, forming picket lines in the rain to protest unfair working conditions. For more context on the situation, we're presenting a guest blog post by an individual with experience working as a teacher in the LA school system.
"If all the raindrops were lemon drops and gumdrops, oh, what a rain that would be! Standing outside with my mouth open wide…ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah!"
A perfect children’s song for such a rainy day, but not for today in the city of LA. If I had to re-write the lyrics, it would sound like: the sky is crying today, as thousands of teachers are marching throughout LA. Oh, what a shame this is.
The Los Angeles education system is in crisis! Humpty Dumpty has fallen off the wall! The bough has been broken and the cradle has fallen!
Did we not see the writing on the wall this day was coming? Politicians have turned their heads, with fingers in their ears for 30 years, while our teachers have tried to manage over crowded classrooms.
The “Old Lady in the Shoe…” Sound familiar? Why do teachers have to beg for additional staff support, as well as a few extra dollars to replace out of pocket expenses?
The Los Angeles Unified School District teachers have bent over backwards! We have witnessed many accounts of disrespect from top administration, parents, and sadly from the very ones that we are expected to educate.
How did we get here?
During my primary years of education in the Los Angeles school system, there was no way that the thought to sass an adult, never the less a teacher, entered my mind. A teacher was guarded in the same way as a parent. They were a step below your mother. You listened, you obeyed and you honored them!
The teachers of yesteryear gained support from parents, top administration and the community. The classrooms were well-managed, with aides rotating to reinforce the day’s lesson. The administration provided opportunities for exposure with electives such as sewing, cooking, automotive, electronics and typesetting – just to name a few – that helped shape me!
Education was important! Children were important! Again, how did we get here?
Did it start with the misuse of standardized testing? I’m just saying! Maybe? Perhaps?
I pray that Humpty Dumpty can be put back together again!
To the teachers of the Los Angeles Unified School District, thank you for wanting more than “curds and whey!”
- "ELR," LA supporter and mother