Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Someone needs to walk a mile in somebody else's shoes...

So I ask my brother the high school teacher how it feels to be the latest supervillain, hell-bent on the destruction of all that is good and fiscally responsible. The next day the New York Times ran this article, "Teachers Wonder, Why the Scorn?" about how Wisconsin teachers are coping with this very question.

The letters come in. Most are sensible. One, authored by Richard Frauenglass, comes from the planet Fox-Teabag. I quote it in full, because it is so unmoored from reality.

It is a mystery why teachers fail to understand the public perception. They do not work a full day, they have significant time off during the day, they have extensive vacation time, they can be granted tenure and they have a retirement benefits package that is the envy of all except top corporate executives. Any additional activity, like being a coach, club leader or adviser, is generally compensated.

Now don’t get me wrong. The uniformed unions also have overreaching benefits that need renegotiation. But it is the teachers with whom the public has the greatest contact and who regularly whine about how poorly treated they are and demand raises from struggling taxpayers on whose shoulders their compensation falls.

It is high time they wake up and begin to understand that they do not exist in a vacuum and that their ivory towers need a dose of reality.

Wow. Just, wow. It takes your breath away. There is some temptation to find the author's phone number, and have brother M. call him in the morning when he starts, and at night when he's done with the day's work. Better yet, brother M's suggestion that he actually try teaching for just one day. M's prediction is that Mr. Frauenglass would by crying by 10:00 AM and face-down and comatose by 1:00 PM.

And don't even get me started on how the University insists that teaching a class of 300 frosh is a "half-time position."

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