I could have made a difference

You may not know this, but teachers in California went on strike recently.

I know, I know: When did that happen? And, what took them so long?

For years and years and years teachers have pointed out they don’t get paid as well as they think they should. They say something about not being treated like professionals and having to put up with helicopter parents and misbehaving students — whom they are not allowed to paddle, shout sternly at, or even aim a resigned sigh in their direction. They talk about how teaching is not really about teaching anymore, it’s about paperwork.

Used to be people thought you could pay a teacher next to nothing because, “Teachers love children! They love teaching!”

Now people say, “Teachers love their jobs because paperwork is fun!”

True story: I know one neighboring school system that “redesigned” its curriculum about two years ago. This school system went back to a curriculum it had dropped about seven years before that. So taxpayers living in that system were allowed to pay for new books that were really older books, but after seven years they cost more than they did previously.

Yeah, confuses me, too.

Want to know why California caved in to teachers? Not because the teachers were right. You know better than that. California panicked when they looked at the options available for their children in regards to getting a quality education.

Because I, and many like me, volunteered to go to the Golden State, cross the picket lines, and become “scab” teachers. Sorta like the players who crossed the picket line when the NFL struck way back in the day.

If you weren’t around for that you missed some really good football. Think along the lines of The Three Stooges and your favorite flavor of yogurt.

We would be the same caliber of teachers as those guys were players.

I already had plans to teach a home economics class where the students and I would learn how to hang up Batman posters, plug in lamps, the proper placement of bean bag chairs throughout the house, how to tell what month is the correct month for washing your sheets, and how to make smoothies.

I had a wide assortment of comic books ready in case I was asked to teach literature; a lot of war movies in case I was asked to teach history; some moldy stuff I found in my fridge for science classes; and the phone numbers of other like-minded “scab” teaching individuals to call if I was asked to teach math.

“Hey Bennie … I got a math class. Will you swap? Sure, I know Spanish. I eat at Taco Bell sometimes.”

I was hoping I’d get assigned an art class. “Draw something and do not stick those crayons up your nose,” or “Paint something, but not each other’s faces..”

Or better yet, a physical education class.

“Okay kids, go out there and run around and jump and stuff. And don’t poke each other with sharp objects!”

And the best part of this whole plan, I thought, was that I would be off for three months out of the year. You know, so I could go to professional development courses (where I would be allowed to spend my own money), plan things for my room (where I am allowed to purchase stuff with my own money), and answer e-mails day in and day out from parents who have special requests regarding their children (and I would be allowed to spend my own money on anti-depressants).

“Please don’t let Little Johnny sit next to the one boy, Eddie,” or “Little Martha is a free thinker, she needs to be stimulated, you may need to spend all your class time hovering around her to make sure she isn’t bored.”

Or, “Please call Little Timmy’s father if he brings a gun to class. Again.”

Good ole reading, writing and rith-matic.

So I, and a few of my like-minded “we can be teacher” friends sent our proposal to the state of California and the next thing I know, the teachers aren’t on strike.

“I know, I should have mentioned I am an excellent philosophy teacher,” I told a friend.

“No, you’re not,” he said.

Just wait though, I think we’re going to see an uprising of educators if one more “curriculum generalist” suggests to a teacher that although there are 24 units to be taught in the time usually allotted for six, they still need to make sure the students have three units of play time, plus time to rearrange all the stuff on the teacher’s desk. I’m keeping all my teaching supplies packed for when that day comes.

Smoothie, anybody?

“Congrats! You’ve been gifted these L’Oréal Haircare Samples.

“Save money on haircare products when you claim these awesome L’Oréal haircare samples.”

Today is my lucky day.