I’ve pasted below, in full, the comment that a teacher wrote in response to Bob Costrell’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about the expense of teacher health and retirement benefits in Milwaukee.
Before you read it, I just want to make a few points. First, this type of comment is not nearly as rare as you might hope. I’ve written on teacher pay myself and let me tell you that a non-trivial number of teachers react like this. Second, when I read comments like this I wonder why their authors are still teaching. They seem to hate their job, hate the kids, and are filled with rage. If things are that awful perhaps they should look for other lines of work. Third, comments like this make me worried about how bright these teachers are. This guy clearly has difficulty with written English. He also has a hard time rationally processing the argument raised by Bob Costrell’s piece. The op-ed was about how Milwaukee teachers are paid 74.2 cents in benefits for every 1 dollar in salary. That rate is unsustainable and lacks transparency because fringe rates are less visible than salary. The comment does not rationally respond to any part of that argument. How can this person teach anything if he can’t read and understand an argument?
Let me be clear, I do not think all or even most teachers are like this guy. But a non-trivial number of them are. All of us, especially the good teachers, should be focused on how we can get people like this out of the classroom as quickly as possible.
Here’s the comment:
Mr. Costrell (and anybody who agrees with Bob),
You obviously have never experienced “teaching” to its fullest.
Teachers are not typical workers.
You obviously haven’t made a life-long career of “teaching” which cannot be expressed/explained in one word “teaching” let alone a discussion blog: You stand in a room for 7 hours a day 25-35 kids, unmotivated, sometimes you[‘re the best they’ve got, many with broken homes and social issues, baggage. A teacher enters the profession to make a positive difference in the world, then a kid in the class tells you “F U, I’m not doing this…”
Why don’t you take a Special Ed Teacher’s place for one day, and get SPIT on, kicked, smacked, get your hair pulled, get called names, and I dare you to come back the next day, and do it all over again.
Why don’t you stand in a teacher’s place, and put in your 7-3 with barely a lunch, cramming it down your throat in 10 minutes, because you spend your “LUNCH” calling parents, helping kids, tutoring, and planning awesome lessons.
Why don’t you, after your 7-4 shift, continue to coach until 6pm, and then continue to coach at the game, so the bus can return to the school at 10pm, and you can get home by 11pm, just to wake up at 5am and do it again the next day…I dare you. (and you wonder where our extra pay comes from).
I dare you to try to eat your lunch after a kid tells you sick stories, stories that would make you sick for weeks, where DCFS gets involved, that I can’t even share due to confidentiality and legality.
Why don’t you give it 150% everyday, all of the above, in addition to accepting constructive criticism from administrative and government demands for higher test scores, while balancing trying to teach your kids “critical thinking” skills, in addition to solely passing a standardized test, just to meet NCLB.
I dare you to step in a teacher’s footsteps for a day, and then standing up for what you believe in, and trying to keep your basic bargaining rights, and then losing your rights, and go back and give it 75% or more….do you seriously think a teacher would give it their all from that point on.
Why don’t you call all your teachers and thank them for everything they taught you: the ability to write what you believe, even though what you believe is a bunch of B S.
I dare you to send your kids to a school now, after posting your opinion.
Actually, good luck to anybody sending their kids to Wisconsin public schools after insulting the Wisconsin teachers like that. Teachers are more than just “teachers”. Don’t you forget it.
Mr Costrell, why don’t you walk in a teacher’s footsteps, and make a lifelong career out of it, before you open your stupid mouth.
FYI-you’re not a teacher, you’re a Harvard professor. Get off your high horse.