So I have kept quiet on the whole teacher strike thing because I have friends on here who bash my profession and I'm trying to keep the peace, but what I am coming to realize is that their understanding on the teacher's strike is similar to my understanding of solving the quadratic equation for rocket launching
I can't speak for all teachers, but I can speak for myself, and here's been my experience with teaching in the last 10 years.
I make good money if you look at it on paper, but when you see what I actually bring home, you'd see that I lose almost 40% of my salary, as teachers are one of the highest-taxed professions. You would also know that I have to teach summer school every year so that I can make a decent living as a single parent.
You should know that I have done 7 years post-secondary and have accrued roughly $150,000 in student loans, which I just recently paid off after 22 years of teaching. On top of that 7 years post-secondary, I've got 3 specialist degrees so that I could teach the courses I really wanted to, have taken numerous training courses to keep up to date with all the new curriculum our gov't has mandated. None of this was covered by my school board or the gov't. I paid for all of it so that I could be on the top of my game for my students.
As well as my love for teaching, I love coaching. I have coached hockey, basketball and soccer and I love every minute of it. Even though I have to pay for a babysitter to watch my child while I coach your children,.even though I'm missing my son's games because I'm coaching your children, even though I have to scramble to find people to take my son to his games because I'm a single parent and don't have anyone else to take him.
You should also know that I have a friend that just recently quit teaching after 17 years, not because she hated it, but because she was so physically and verbally abused by students and parents that she just couldn't do it anymore. You should also know that I have another colleague that has her class evacuated 30 times this year, because of 1 student who is so violent that he throws chairs and desks and they don't have an EA that can be assigned to him full time. I have another friend that spent his whole Christmas break in bed because a student in his grade 2 class threw a stapler at his head and caused a minor skull fracture and concussion. I have a friend who is an EA and she goes to school everyday wearing specialized body armor that helps protect her from being bitten, spit on and physically assaulted.
You should know that when I was teaching in the classroom I spent on average $2,000 yearly to pay for supplies for your children. Who do you think pays for your lovely Mother's Day and Father's Day gifts that your children so proudly create for you? There wasn't a day that I would go to work without making at least 3 extra sandwiches because I knew I'd have at least 3 kids who never came with a lunch. I also knew there would be at least 5 kids whose parents couldn't afford pizza days or to go on class outings, I figure by now you can probably guess who paid for those kids.
So yeah, it sucks that teachers are out on the picket line today in the freezing cold, it sucks that we have classes so packed that we have kids sitting on window sills and floors, it sucks that your child's teacher is so busy with behavior issues that your child suffers academically....but you know what sucks the most is that some of you think that all we care about is a 2% wage increase and that you can't see the bigger picture.