This week in the Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson defended the Chicago teacher’s strike in a thoughtful and compelling opinion article.
My only beef with the piece is the continued use of “hero” language to talk about teaching and teachers. Teachers do critical, even sacred, work but we are not heroes. Being a hero in my mind must involve some kind of personal sacrifice for the greater good beyond what might be considered normal. The bottom line is teachers are paid for what we do. Yes, we all occasionally must work on evenings and weekends but we typically do not have school in the summer months. Unfortunately, most of us work beyond what is required by our contracts – again, not for the money, but because we love what we do. While some may call this heroic because it stems from the noble motivations of teachers I would argue again (click here for my other anti-hero post) that it is actually a tragic misappropriation of resources has lead to teachers working beyond the school day for pay that is often below what might be necessary.