Don’t Confuse Good Teachers With Teachers Unions

There is a difference.

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We’ve got to remember there are a lot of good teachers out there who do not agree with holding kids hostage to the exorbitant demands of left wing teachers unions. Karen Cuen, an elementary school teacher in Southern California, is one of them.

Cuen: Ever since the Chicago Teachers Union announced that its teachers “decided” not to go back to school for in-person learning, I’ve been hearing and reading about teachers being called “lazy” and “unprofessional losers,” among other names that can’t be printed.

Even now, as the union and Chicago Public Schools agreed to allow students back in school Wednesday, let’s not confuse good teachers with teachers unions.

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When I heard the news about CTU, my head nearly exploded. I couldn’t believe we were headed down this road again after seeing what online “learning” did last time unions locked kids out of their schools. We are seeing now that our kids are behind, below grade level and suffering socially and emotionally from the debacle union bosses and their complicit school administrator cronies put them through for the last two school years.

Many of my students are insecure, immature, and are having problems coping outside the classroom. But teachers are afraid of dying. They shouldn’t have to risk it all to do their jobs, right?

Give me a break. When I went into teaching, I had no idea I’d be working in a petri dish every single day. As much as I adore them, little kids are germ factories. They produce copious amounts of snot. They sneeze without covering their mouths. They pass gas and then all have a good laugh about it together.

But even after I learned that I worked in sometimes questionable hygienic conditions, I kept coming back. Because, for good teachers, our job is a calling that cannot be denied. We care about our students, and we will do anything to make sure that students’ needs are met—all of them. Remote learning shortchanges kids so much that I can’t begin to list unmet needs.

So what exactly is going on in Chicago? Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel famously said, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.”

Enter the Chicago Teachers Union. Pre-COVID, the thought of shutting down schools and keeping kids at home learning on computers was unthinkable. Then most of the nation did just that in the spring of 2020. When it was time to reopen the schools, national union bosses of the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, and big city union chiefs in cities like Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles presented a list of demands that had to be met before they would “agree” to go back to in-person learning…

These teachers unions insult my profession. How dare they subject us to name-calling and embarrassment while too much of the general public think that every teacher is on board with this nonsense? If you’ve read this far, don’t miss this point: Not all teachers agree with teachers unions. Like me, many teachers are not even members of a union. We happily work in our schools as confident, strong teachers who prefer to think for ourselves, outside the confines of union rhetoric.

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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