Thursday, August 9, 2007


I found out yesterday that I will become a union rep this year. It's something I've wanted to do for a while now, and a place opened up (we have several per school in our district - so I'm one of 4 for my building). We just came out of an incredibly painful, tense and very stressful contract negotiation where it became clear that the district was participating in a statewide effort to break the union. We finally got pretty much everything we needed (trust me, we weren't asking much) - but it went on a year into the new contract period. So now, only 2 years later, we're already facing a start to new negotiations. Knowing how unions continue to get the shaft from this government and this country, it's not promising. But I'm glad to have the chance to be an advocate for my fellow teachers. Hopefully my degree and experience in conflict resolution will help...or not!

I was thinking about what teachers are facing this year - especially teachers like Strausser who is starting the year without a classroom, or me and my social studies division who are being moved into a new building -- that isn't complete yet, so we don't know if we'll have rooms to teach in when the year starts either. ...Then I popped over to Daily Kos and saw this:

Right now, there are two men with a tough job. They're at the back of a drill truck, pushing a growing length of steel to reach a group of miners trapped 1500' below ground and four miles from the mine entrance.

How is it in 2007 in the United States of America there are men trapped 1500 feet below ground in a coal mine? Is it just me or should this sort of thing have only happened 200 years ago? It puts much in perspective as I start the school year. I get to rise every morning and see the variety of faces that make up our future and actually get a chance to influence them with knowledge and hope.

I can not complain. Ever.

My prayers to the people in this country who really have tough jobs...

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