I’ve caught numerous articles in our local papers as of late, regarding “teacher sick outs” and missed school days because of understaffed campuses. In the weeks leading up to Winter Break, the magnet school that I myself attended in Detroit, Bates Academy, was closed for 2 days due to what the Free Press referred to as a “Teacher Sickout”. Just this morning both King High school and Cass Tech were closed for similar reasons. I think to myself, quite a bit actually, about how long an educator can withstand mounting pressures for their students to perform, overcrowded classrooms, underfunded classroom resources and ever changing demands for…well, more. How long can any of us stand to work in an environment where our needs are not only NOT met, but where we are expected to go with the flow…as the current continues to grow stronger? We can rally, for sure. But for how long? And at what cost?
As our local and state governments continue to argue over what is best in regards to a growing budget crisis, how to handle (I do notice we haven’t even begun to discuss prevention tactics) fraud investigations in regards to improper use of school funds and (ha) how to attract talented educators to our city….our teachers are suffering and these “sickouts” are only the beginning of how they are going to continue to try to get our attention. As someone who has worked in multiple districts outside of the state of Michigan, I am aware that this is a national issue.
Over the next several weeks, I will be focusing my blog posts on providing support for teachers in the metro-Detroit area. Topics will vary, but with the overall theme of strengthening intrapersonal skills so that each of us can become better in coping with the here and now. I’ll be honest in saying, sometimes I feel helpless in the struggle to help improve how our students experience education. I feel like a tiny trout swimming upstream. I know that many educators that have been in “the game” a lot longer than I have got to be exhausted, but unable to stop moving forward because they understand what is most important; their students. So in the coming week, let’s support each other. I hope that you’ll share my upcoming posts with an educator you love.