Updated: June 1, 2012 8:08AM
All Chicago Public Schools teachers want is a little respect and a seat at the table when major decisions are made that affect them and the children they teach.
Is this asking too much for those who are in one of the most — if not the most — demanding jobs in society? A job that entails passing on knowledge and values from one generation to the next.
Instead of respect, what the teachers get is a mayor, who, upon his election, stated that the children of Chicago had been shafted. A clear inference that teachers are to blame for the state of affairs in the system.
Did the students, parents, previous CEOs, previous Boards of Education come in for a share of the blame?
Not at all.
Since then, the teacher bashing has continued with other measures that affect the working condition of teachers.
All of these decisions are coming from a mayor and a majority of Board of Education members who have not taught a day in their lives and a mayor who chose to send his children to a private school.
What the mayor and the board need to understand is that the interaction between parents, teachers, students and the central office is what education is all about.
For this interaction to be smooth and successful, there must be collaboration, teamwork and respect between all parties.
Teachers cannot and should not be scapegoats for the shortcomings of society that are thrust upon the schools.
Teachers are not adversaries in the educational process, but are equal partners and should be treated as such.
Ned L. McCray, Tinley Park,
Simeon High School
Listen to Dalai Lama
The Dalai Lama, speaking recently in Chicago at the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, called for dialogue, not violence, to resolve human conflicts.
He said, “The 21st century should be a century of dialogue. . . . If we make an effort I think that within this century a better world is possible.”
Sigmund Freud, a century ago, was even more definite when he stated, in essence, “This will be a verbal world, not a physical one, and if I am wrong it will not make any difference.”
Apparently, these two humanitarians have far more in common than one might imagine.
Will we learn from them while there’s still time?
Leon J. Hoffman,