Heartwrenching, heartaching, upsetting, but all too true. For those who want to see inside the life of many US public school teachers, Peter Hirzel has a gutsy, edgy post on salon and says many of the things that are often whispered and said in email. But there is a part that I want EVERY teacher to hear because it reflects something I say a lot to teachers: "When we have each others’ backs, we are invincible. So I hope all the teachers continue to be kind to one another, because one kind word was very, very often the only thing that got me through the day." BE KIND TO EACH OTHER. Encourage each other. Smile. Say hello. You are fellow journeyman and deserve each other's respect and kindness. Please hear this. Don't be discouraged, but if you're in edreform and don't read this post, you shouldn't be in edreform because you don't get the conflicting emotions plaguing the psyche of so many teachers today.
With the recent Chicago teacher's strike, now the NHL strike, this is an opportune time to help students understand the history of labor unions. In this set of lesson plans focused around Labor Day, there is a union negotiation simulation and a union election simulation. Wherever you stand on the issue of unions, this is part of US history and something students should understand. I think this is a very balanced set of lesson plans appropriate for many ages, particularly older social studies students.