Now that we’ve got it working, let’s parameterize it

And with that I/M from someone I’ll just refer to as “you know who”, I decided it was time to call it a day. We’ve been working on adding some jQuery stuff to our hi-fi prototype and we are conquering it bit by bit. As I walked out through the spitting snow to the Ninja, I thought how lucky the children of America are that they don’t have meeeeee for a teacher. I was about 40 when I quit my first IT career. I’m not sure what I thought I would do next. My short term plan was to be a SAHM and volunteer. And I did volunteer, oh boy oh boy. I knew that wouldn’t last forever though. The Commander said, “You can go back and get a teaching certificate!”

After all, The Commander spent a few years being a SAHM and she did obtain a teaching certificate. She began teaching one afternoon a week when I was about 10 and was deemed responsible enough to mind my brother for an hour or so after school. After a couple years of that and classes and student teaching, she landed a full time job teaching “home-ec” at our high school. She did that for quite a few years and I think she was pretty good at it. I know that she genuinely cared about the kids she was charged with teaching and she had some challenging kids. And she created new programs: child care and a retail store in the school, for example. She went to work early in the morning, stayed late after school and graded papers many an evening. Summer? Well. How about let’s work on a master’s (correct spelling/apostrophe?) degree? Yes. She earned one from Northern Michigan University. Even spending time living on-campus (three hours away from the Moominbeach) to take some required classes.

And so, I am pretty flabbergasted at what is happening in Wisconsin and there are some similar currents going on here in The Great Lake State too. Now. I am not a die-hard union fan. DON’T STOP READING BECAUSE I SAID THAT! I am not trying to suggest that there shouldn’t be unions. I am not trivializing the long history of workers’ rights in our country. What I sincerely believe is that we shouldn’t NEED unions. Why? Because we should value each others’ skills and talents enough to pay each other what we are worth and provide all of the benefits that we need. Alas. WE DON’T! And we won’t. That’s why there are and NEED TO BE unions. Now. I do agree that there need to be ways of getting rid of the few truly horrible teachers that are around. Like the guy one of my daughters had for “forum” in 10th grade. The kids didn’t like him and the few times I was forced to interact with him, my hair tried its darndest to stand on end. Why was he allowed to teach children? Thank god it wasn’t an academic subject!

I am an independent voter. I am not enamored of either “side” right now. I want *people* from every party to work together! I do not think that the people of Wisconsin voted these people into office expecting them to try to eviscerate the public employee unions. Oh okay, some of them may have. I’m sure there are a lot of voters who see budget issues in black and white. I certainly don’t. I think that before making decisions such as this, all of our elected officials should spend a significant amount of time volunteering in a public school classroom. Maybe if they did, they would understand the enormity of the job our teachers do. It isn’t just putting kids into reading groups any more. Tracking them and allowing the kids who don’t make the cut to fall behind. Oh, they’ll just get jobs in the auto industry anyway… Not any more. Our teachers are charged with getting all kids to do the absolute best they can. And that’s okay. Except how do you handle the kids who drag 16 overfilled carpetbags into the school with them. The ones who move from school to school to school to school ad infinitum. For reasons I don’t even want to think about. How can they teach all of those kids and also teach *my* kids, who arrived at school after listening to meeee read a chapter of whatever book we were currently reading during breakfast that morning. I don’t know.

I think that is bad policy to devalue peoples’ jobs overnight by striking down years and years and years of work to achieve job benefits. Teachers are professional workers and they need to be treated that way. The reason the teaching profession is unionized is because it has been traditionally undervalued.

I just laughed when The Commander suggested I be a teacher, bless her heart. I do not have the temperament. I am not good at managing groups of children. I would end up in the loony bin if I had to do it every day. I am perfectly happy to pay somebody else to teach my children. Well, I mean, I *did* teach them too. All parents do that, for better or worse. But I am better off beating up on things like jQuery.

Okay, we’re headed over to Knight’s for dinner tonight and the GG is chompin’ at the bit to git goin’, so I’m posting this with whatever typos, mis-statements, and warts it may have. Chop me up! 🙂

2 Responses to “Now that we’ve got it working, let’s parameterize it”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Teaching isn’t too bad if you love people and can laugh at yourself a lot. Oh, and you have to be willing to deal with kids, chaos, attitudes, joy and disappointment. There are a few teachers in my building that should be gone, but not many. Most of them are doing their best in a tough situation, like other people these days. You are so right; we SHOULD be treating each other the way we deserve, but greed and money have corrupted just about everything in this country. Ugh.

  2. Pooh Says:

    Aargh! I find myself shouting at the radio more and more these days. The fact that the republicans in Wisconsin were able to gut collective bargaining rights by separating them from the budget bill shows that this was the agenda more than reducing state spending.