So much tumult lately. It’s hard to focus on just one thing. So here are four short columns instead of one long one.
Forget the Viagra. The teachers I’ve been in touch with lately need Prozac.
Somewhere in the chaos of last week, the Milwaukee teachers union confirmed that it had given up the fight for its members’ rights to have drugs for sexual dysfunction covered by their insurance (a stand that, whatever its merits, belongs in the Hall of Fame of public relations blunders).
But depression among teachers – now that’s a serious subject. Maybe not genuine, clinical depression. Rather, bad-morale, pessimistic, stressed-out, I-think-it’s-only-going-to-get-worse depression.
Maybe the unhappiness will blow over. Daily routines tend to win out in our minds. Or maybe you think ill will is just a necessary by-product of the mother of all comeuppances that teachers deserved and got at the hands of Gov. Scott Walker and the legislative Republicans.
But marking the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War by staging a new one in Wisconsin will have long-term consequences on teachers and teaching. Some maybe on the upside. Some will have lasting effects as downers. Who goes into teaching, who stays, what the work is like – there will be big issues to sort out.
I sincerely hope that Wisconsin political, education and civic leaders take the lead on new education opportunities, rather than follow. Minnesota Democrat Governor Mark Dayton just signed an alternative teacher licensing law days ago. Janet Mertz advocated for a similar model for math & science teachers via this 2009 email. Education model, curricular and financial changes are certainly well underway.