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Showing posts from February, 2018

On Strike

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The public supports us.

Being on strike makes me proud. To see and hear the support of the public every morning on the picket line, I am further convinced L.A. teachers made the right choice to leave the classroom. It is not an easy choice for many single income teachers, but it is one of the reasons we are striking. Teachers should not have to live paycheck to paycheck when educating society's children.



But our strike is about more than that, and it seems the public is aware of what we have been concerned about for years. In the middle of one morning's picket session I realized that the education reformers had been so very wrong in what they were telling us. The public knows and understands that we know what's best for children in schools. They place their precious children in our hands to educate, and want us to do our job unencumbered by district edicts and structures that get in the way.

The public supports us.


Being on strike is not what I thought it would be. It is be…

Respect, Freedom, and Trust

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What happens in a school system that treats its teachers so well that there is a competition to enter teacher education programs? A competition that in some places is more challenging than being accepted into medical school? What happens is a stable and healthy school system.
In the month I have been in Finland I have spoken to teachers, students, education officials, professors, and non-profit organization leaders. I am only scratching the surface. But it seems to me that the foundation of this very successful school system is to trust the human capital to do what they have been trained to do. Preparation You have to earn a master’s degree to be a teacher in Finland. Teacher training involves conducting research and you are required to produce a Bachelor’s thesis as well as a Master’s one. So not only do you enter the university system as a well-prepared tri-lingual student (Finns speak three languages: Finnish, Swedish, and English), but you do not have to stress about paying for y…