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STRIKE: Teaching most demanding job in existence?

Letter by Dave Cornett, Puyallup on Sep. 22, 2011 at 11:40 am with 25 Comments »
September 22, 2011 11:40 am

Re: “Why teachers are on strike” (letter, 9-15).

My issue is not about whether the strike is right or wrong. My issue is with a comment made by the letter writer: ”It’s not about classroom size. It’s about fair assessment of one of the most difficult and demanding jobs in existence.”

Teaching is an important job and a necessary one, however, to even hint that it is one of the “most difficult and demanding jobs in existence” is a slap in the face to every man and woman in the Armed Forces of this great nation. Not to mention fire fighters, law enforcement officers, and countless other professions. And yes, I was a member of two of those named organizations for a total of 34 years.

It would do the writer good to spend just one week in an active war zone, one week with a fire fighting organization, and one week riding along with a police department. I believe the experience would make whatever issues he has with the Tacoma School District seem petty in comparison.

Leave a comment Comments → 25
  1. Get over yourself. When they start having full-dress funerals for teachers or a Retired Educator national holiday then we can start talking about how underappreciated first responders and the service are.

  2. Petty bBoy. Petty.

    Teachers brought this attention on themselves. Their work is noble. Despite your presumptions about me, I am quite proud of my teaching career and feel that teaching is a calling.

    That said, teaching is one noble calling among many.

  3. commoncents says:

    certainly it doesn’t compare to a war zone and I don’t think anyone would argue that it does. however, there are about 1.5 million active military members and not all of them are overseas in a war or even in a military zone. See – we can find silly issues with everything that someone posts. The important thing to note is that the original poster said “ONE” of the most demanding not “THE” most.

    Just as it might do the writer good to go to a war zone for a week to see how it is on the other side, it might do you good to spend 8 hours a day (sorry 7 1/2) with thirty 8 year olds so that you too can have a little perspective.

  4. “it might do you good to spend 8 hours a day (sorry 7 1/2) with thirty 8 year olds so that you too can have a little perspective.”

    What school is that? The elementary school times in Tacoma are 9am to 3:30 pm. So that’s 6 hours, with a half hour for lunch.

  5. sozo – “petty”

    That was my point.

    The letter writer felt that somehow his chosen professions were being put down by someone having the audacity to claim that teaching was “ONE of the most difficult and demanding jobs in existence”. That seems a bit petty, don’t ya think?

    For the record, I have the utmost respect for the Tacoma Fire Department. They were professional, courteous, and thoughtful to my wife and me when they responded to a bus crashing through our business. Quite welcome after hearing TPD officers joking about it in front of us.

  6. RE: “noble professions”

    From my experience,It sure seems that there are an awful lot of venal people in those “noble professions”. Perhaps the profession is noble and those who truly fulfill the calling demonstrate a noble spirit but, just being in the profession isn’t, ultimately, a measure of one’s character.

  7. spotted1 says:

    Active military in war zones? I have spoken to several “retired” military servicemen who spend a great deal of time speaking about golfing on government time or generally not doing anything to serve their country during wartime. Even discussions with veterans of recent wars in Iraq mentioned not feeling threatened most of the time.

    Police? They don’t seem to solve a lot of crimes and don’t even respond to many of them unless they meet a certain level of severity. But I see lots of them chatting in parking lots with other police. They are not in threat of their life most of the time either.

    Fire department? They work what, 96 – 24 hour shifts during the year and part of that is spent sleeping. Most of the responses are not threatening either.

    Is the perception correct or the actuality correct?

    It doesn’t matter. I have a great deal of respect for the police, fire department, and military. They all have tough jobs. But at the end of the day, they arrive at a scene, provide a short term solution then leave. If we only concern ourselves with threat of harm, okay then teachers don’t have a difficult job. If we speak of long-term solutions and commitment, then teachers positions are right up there with them all.

  8. aislander says:

    Try creating and building a business–especially in today’s environment, in which government burdens you with mountains of regulation resulting in an avalanche of paperwork; imposes an enormous tax burden; does nothing to improve the economy, debases the currency; and then spouts off about what a bad guy you are for being in business in the first place.

    Parasites in nature may weaken and eventually kill you, but at least they don’t insult you while they’re doing it…

  9. aislander says:

    Oh, and I forgot about government’s encouraging rapacious lawyers to sue you. Speaking of parasites…

  10. LarryFine says:

    bB says “The letter writer felt … ” lol considering what he has said regarding psycho analyzing people who post here.

  11. aislander says:

    LarryFine: beerBoy posted about NOT tele-psychoanalyzing members of the forum? Kooky. Guess that doesn’t apply to TEA-Party people…

  12. alindasue says:

    pawl said, “What school is that? The elementary school times in Tacoma are 9am to 3:30 pm. So that’s 6 hours, with a half hour for lunch.”

    The children are in the classroom for 6 hours. The teachers are generally there an hour before school starts each day for meetings and still in the classroom an hour or so after preparing for the next day – if they are not busy running one of the many after school programs that are offered for our children or staying later for special activities like parents’ nights or school concerts.

    At the middle school level, teachers tend to stay until the building closes an hour and a half after school. That’s at least a full 8 hour day spent at the school (assuming a normal day with no evening activities planned).

    In high school, the buildings don’t close until 5:00pm. That means high school teacher who comes in an hour before the first class and stays after school with students until the building closes are there on the job for 10 hours, assuming said teacher didn’t work through lunch.

  13. BigSwingingRichard says:

    It is the teachers who pay their union to convince them the teachers have the most “difficult and demanding and job in existence” and since most of them have never had another job, how would they know the difference?

  14. scooter6139 says:

    What school is that? The elementary school times in Tacoma are 9am to 3:30 pm. So that’s 6 hours, with a half hour for lunch.

    My wife gets to work at 8AM. She usually doesn’t have time for lunch so she eats while she’s working and running around. The kids leave at 3:30PM and she goes back inside for either more work or meetings. She usually leaves by 6PM at the latest and brings home yet more work. We also must not forget parent conferences, open school night and any other nightly school activity.

    By my count that is at least 10 hours day w/out a lunch. I’d like to see any of the naysayers do that for an entire school year and then get back to everyone on how fat and lazy teachers are.

  15. How come firefighters never get blamed for fires that consume a building and police are seldom blamed for unresolved lawlessness yet teachers are constantly blamed for the poor performance of students.
    Whipping boy, perhaps, because nobody wants to deal with the real problem which is poverty.

  16. Market driven colleges lead to least common denominator coursework – what is important is the numbers, higher enrollment, make it easy, don’t push the students, dumb it down, give them A’s for enrolling and showing up for maybe half the classes.

    Market driven schools…….why not have Boot Camp run on the same idea? Let the enlistees decide which drill sargeant they would prefer. Make promotions dependent upon the anonymous evaluations they receive from the troops.

  17. commoncents says:

    pawl – Many teachers spend their lunches with the students. In an effort to save money many districts now have lunches delivered and the students eat in the classrooms. Lunch recess is then spent with those students that needed additional support. As for before and after school…do you honestly think the kids just magically show up and disappear right when the bells ring? Really?

  18. Calm down Cornett. It said “One of the most”- as the old saying goes, “The hand the rocks the cradle rules the world.” – Maybe not the best reference considering the movie, but the saying is older than the movie.

  19. Bigswinging? You have an obviously high opinion of yourself- I know MANY teachers who worked the forest service fire lines, alaska fishing, canneries, and agriculture just to name a few, to pay their way through college and some continued after college in the summers to pay their student loans.

  20. Bigswinging? You have an obviously high opinion of yourself-

    Well….someone who claims that his Richard is big and swinging clearly has an inflated sense of self…..

  21. I love to use the nickname “Dick” instead of the full name Richard when the nickname fits better.
    Happy first day of autumn.

  22. spotted1 says:

    You know, doctors never get blamed for the death of their patients by preventable diseases. Dentists never get blamed for the cavities of their patients. Emergency room workers never get blamed for the injuries and deaths of people who show up there. Boeing doesn’t get blamed for their planes falling out of the sky.

    Maybe we should start leveling the playing field and blame professions for what they should be able to control and don’t. See how it works out for a while.

  23. “aislander says:
    September 23, 2011 at 1:07 pm
    Wow, publico, you really refuted the letter writer’s indictment of Obama’s tactics and priorities (“fairness” over revenue?). Happy continuing day of being a tool…”
    I think you have the wrong letter along with being wrong on most everything else.
    Happy whatever……….

  24. LarryFine says:

    The fires get put out, the law is served, the cavity get’s filled, the student gets educated… or not.

  25. Your pettiness, bBoy, was in your attitude towards the military, et. al.


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