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Marla Kilfoyle, executive director of the BadAss Teachers Association, wrote the following explanation of how to show genuine appreciation for teachers:
“Want to Appreciate Teachers This Week? Stand Up to Those Seeking to Destroy our Profession and Public Education!
By: Marla Kilfoyle, Executive Director BATs
“Chris Hedges in 2012 noted that the U.S. Federal Government spends about $600 billion a year on education. He further stated, “corporations want it. That’s what’s happening. And that comes through charter schools. It comes through standardized testing. And it comes through breaking teachers’ unions and essentially hiring temp workers, people who have very little skills.”
“Rupert Murdoch, a media mogul, stated in a 2010 press release, “When it comes to K through 12 education, we see a $500 billion sector in the U.S. alone that is waiting desperately to be transformed by big breakthroughs that extend the reach of great teaching.”
“What stands in the way of capitalists getting their hands on the education billions? Teachers!
“Writing this during Teacher Appreciation Week is hard for me. I am a teacher, I have taught for 29 years, and I have watched the slow destruction of a profession that I cherish. I have witnessed, over the last decade, an escalated attack on a profession that was a calling for me, and I know a strong calling for many teachers. Make no mistake; teachers are called to this vocation! I write this, sadly, as my brothers and sisters in Detroit were forced to take to the streets this week because the state decided to stop paying them. It is time to respect and honor teachers, not just appreciate them, but respect and honor the profession.
“In the last few years, teachers have been accused of being the resistance to “change” by many who seek to destroy public education and our profession. The problem is that teachers know the change is not productive change. Let’s take a look at how teachers have resisted change; teachers take to the streets in Detroit to protest the deplorable conditions that children in their schools must endure. Teachers take to the streets in Chicago to protest the fact that many in this country don’t make a living wage. Teachers in Seattle stood strong for small class size and funding. Teachers testify in the halls of state government and the federal government against policies that they know destroy good teaching and learning. All one would need to do is examine teacher labor contracts to know that teachers are the force behind positive change for children in their schools…..
“Resist change? Yes, we resist change that we know is not rooted in research or sound practice, and that is destructive to a child’s self esteem and well being.
“We embrace, and fight for change, that allows our profession to create great schools that will best service our children and their families.
- “Appreciate THAT on Teacher Appreciation Week….
“Teachers are the first responders to the trauma of poverty….
“Want to appreciate teachers?
“Stand up and fight against those seeking to destroy our profession and public education! That is how you can show teachers you appreciate them.”