During this year’s Teacher Appreciation Week, teachers will undoubtedly cherish notes and gifts from grateful children and parents, but they recognize real teacher appreciation is about more than a week of tributes.
They also see through Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the top one percent who want to destroy public education and the teaching profession.
Teachers live in a unique world where they struggle against many odds to find everyday miracles only they, students, and parents might understand. Teachers in poor schools face especially difficult challenges.
Last week, we watched Betsy DeVos promenade with her husband into the Manhattan Institute gala to receive an Alexander Hamilton Award. DeVos smiled her saintly grin as four-letter expletives were hurled upon her from the crowd.
This reflected America’s educational divide.
If one doubts the hatred DeVos faces, they need only glance at her twitter feed. It’s filled with vile replies to her derogatory statements, which she often cloaks in passive aggressiveness. Her proclamations and the responses they provoke seem dangerous.
DeVos is out of touch with the classroom and the struggles real teachers face. It’s easy to understand why so many people are angry.
A few days after the awards ceremony, DeVos said to the Education Writers Association, As much as many in the media use my name as clickbait or try to make it all about me, it’s not. Education is not about Betsy DeVos nor any other individual.
She’s, well, shy, she told a packed ballroom. HERE. But it’s difficult to understand how DeVos cannot see her own divisiveness.
She represents the top one percent who promote an agenda few endorse. It’s not only out-of-touch, it’s not based on reputable research, and harmful to most children.
DeVos and company talk about zip codes and the need for equality, but schools are like charity to them. Teach for America are missionaries. Consider the groups of reformers and the nonprofits that make children into victims of poverty, instead of fixing the poverty itself.
Most charter schools are about this. They run like no-excuses schools and reject students and parents who don’t follow rules.
DeVos claims to distrust the government, as she represents the government and the top one percent, robbing the nation of the best our country offers, free democratic public schooling for all!
Teachers rarely go home at night without wondering about their students’ problems, and their own. They work in crummy buildings, sometimes in dangerous areas of town. They struggle to assist students with disabilities, usually in overcrowded classrooms. We’ve heard how teachers struggle to make ends meet in their own lives.
Also, the problems surrounding school safety are swept under the rug by DeVos. Teachers and their students face these dangers everyday.
While teachers continue to march for better wages and conditions for students in their public schools, DeVos claims they should use “adult time” and not disrupt classes, “so students don’t get hurt.”
But DeVos misses the point.
Teachers who’ve been marching are doing it in right to work states! Many parents are marching along with them.
And teachers, when they march during class time, as disruptive as it might be, remind America what will be missed if the country loses its teachers.
During this year’s Teacher Appreciation Week, this message is precisely what Americans need to understand.