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How the Teacher Revolt Promoted the Blue Wave

November 29, 2018

I am reading Anand Giridharandas’ book Winners Take All in preparation for a course I will be offering in our communities Adult Education program this winter. (NOTE: Expect many quotes and concepts from this book going forward!)

One of the points Mr. Giridharandas makes in the book is that the plutocrats have managed to convince employees that they are “mini-corporations”. Consequently, many members of younger generations do not appreciate the power of banding together with colleagues at work to change the system. They have bought into the idea that they are “free agents” who can hop from career-to-career and devise their own health plans and their own retirement plans. If you enter teaching (or any career path) with the notion that it is a way station and not a job you want to commit to for life the idea of pushing back against the forces that want to undercut your wages, hours, and working conditions is alien.

In reporting on the “wildcat strikes” in these states where unions are unwelcome and under- appreciated one fact has been overlooked: the teachers marched together are the teachers who are the most passionate about their work and the most committed to their career. They WANT to teach and are only asking for wages that will enable them to devote their time and energy to making their classrooms the focal point of their life.

As one who sat across the table from union leaders for 29 years, I came to appreciate the fact that unions are not only looking out for the interest of their employees, they are looking out for the well-being of public education.

via How the Teacher Revolt Promoted the Blue Wave

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