Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Chicago: The Last Bastion to Ricochet American Schools.


Why the Chicago Teachers Union’s (CTU) strike was and is a good thing. For most of you who do not read or watch news, I will like to brief you that the teachers in Chicago under the banner of their teacher’s union are striking for length of the school day and objecting to their evaluations being tied to performance which could cause job losses. Some have asked me if teachers who are Christians should strike. Every teacher who struck should be considered a hero. Having taught and ministered in Africa and the United States, having visited at least 8 countries in Europe, 4 in Central America, and 32 states in the US, I have met teachers and students that will enable me make a comparison and draw a conclusion. Therefore, my analyses today will be from experience, empirical evidence, and the Biblical tenets.  The most poignant question we must answer is does the Bible accept strikes and does a strike action have any “Uberrima fides” and “summum bonum”? I will divide the essay into two parts: are the teachers right to strike and what course of action should the authorities take.
I have said this over and over again that America does not need good teachers; she has them in surplus. In this country, I have met some of the best teachers you can ever find anywhere else. The United States instead needs good students, good parents, and better laws. I will just show you a little bit how bad American schools are. February 27, 2012, one student was shot dead and others wounded by another student in Chardon high School in Ohio.[1] Nowadays American kids do not even stand to recite The Pledge of Allegiance. Indeed they should not because they have none. That is why you have some of them fighting with the Talibans in Afghanistan and in Somalia. Their minds are being controlled by foreign philosophies and teachers.

Students cannot eat in the cafeterias without the supervision of the teacher. That is how one day while a teacher was leading her students from their lunch to use the restroom; one student asked her, “MS Williams, would you like to see me jack up?” Tell me where else such a behavior will go unpunished, if it is not the US? Another one came one day and snatched my laptop from the cart. I ran after him, tackled him, took it, and went back to class as if nothing happened. How many times have I heard students ask me if I eat pussy? Since I was still new, I thought they meant cats, so I will tell them “yeah, I may eat cats but not dogs.” Little did I know they mean adult food or theobroma cacao of some princess. Can you imagine a student in Mexico or Cameroon asking their teacher such a question? How many times have I had kids asked me if I wanted to date their moms.  Aren’t the things they watch on TV? At times it is difficult to differentiate between the behavior of the kids and what evil spirits do.
              America needs good students and parents without which in the next 50 years, 2/3 of American teachers would be imported because homegrown teachers cannot put up with all the rubbish kids produce these days. It is the beginning of a fall when an empire starts to import teachers. History has shown that all great empires survived with homemade teachers. From the Mandarins to the Babylonians, Medo-Persians to the Greeks, and then Romans. Their kids were drilled in their philosophies that they grew up with such allegiance unparalleled to any.
Parents have set fear into teachers that it is difficult to discipline a child without racism being injected in it. The white teachers do not want to discipline the black kids, and the black teachers do not want to discipline the white kids for fear they are accused of racism. When a student is atrabilious, parents still find a way to exculpate him/her and transfer the blame to the teacher, but when he or she kills or attempts to kill, the parents say he was being picked on. There is a better way of raising a child’s self-esteem than supplying him with guns. Most of these parents are absent when the kids flash serious opprobrium at home, but once they see an opportunity to appear on TV, they start to say how that was the cousin of Angel Michael, and how “he had plans to be a doctor. He just wanted to do what is right”. This has made students to be unaccountable. I have always said racism should not be seen in every action.
This is how women and men in Middle and High school discipline students .
Another reason why schools will not do well is the fact that there are too many women teaching the wrong grades. Don't get me wrong. I am not against women teaching, but they should teach the right grades where they have the power to maintain discipline. American women cannot instill discipline in school. They think that making students their friends or pampering them is the solution to classroom management. The women do not have the ability to instill discipline as men would have. Therefore, women should not be allowed to teach Middle and high school. They should teach elementary school and college classes where the kids are still very docile and easily to train, or they know at least what they want in life. Take a look at the picture above and you may see what I am saying.
The teachers’ strike is indirectly against cronyism. One of the problems killing education in the United States of America is cronyism. I taught in a school where the principal had not made any improvement for the past 7 years, but he was made Principal of the Year and was selected as the 3rd principal of the year nationwide. How was he good to be nominated nationally if a man's school could not register any improvement? That is because it is not by skills but by nepotism and cronyism. The same nepotism is carried into evaluation where if the teacher does not kowtow to the whims and caprices of the administrators, he or she is given a bad evaluation which leads to loss of job. The teacher is there to teach and not babysit. Babysitting is the job of the parent or babysitter. If a teacher points out the weaknesses of the school, it is probable that the administrators will give him or her a bad evaluation just to get rid of him or her. Getting rid of the teacher does not solve the problem; it mere digs a bigger hole to fill a smaller one.
The culprit for the failed education in the United is the absentee parent.  On the same February 27, 2012, “a 14-year-old boy allegedly shot his mother to death while she was sleeping.” If a child could do this to the mom, do you expect him to obey his teachers? The teacher can do very little with all the useless laws that are targeting the teacher more rather than the parents and students.  The teacher should come to school and teach and not spend half his time dealing with behavior issues. More so, those laws have made the teachers like robots and automatons.They are like boxers whose fists have been shackled but they are asked to fight. Are you expecting such a boxer to win?
Aren’t the teachers right to strike for better schools? The children nowadays lack basic mores. For those whose singsong has been the separation of church and state, I bring you bad tidings. Religion has always played a greater role in the advancement of civilization. Due to the Benedictine Rule, people became so religious, intellectual, and entrepreneuring; influencing the neighboring barbaric tribes who became civilized. The monks took time in preserving the writings of great scholars and church fathers. They also taught the people how to do manual work either in farming, art, or handicraft.
On the contrary, the children nowadays are deprived of the direction that religion would have provided. Instead, tutelage has been taken away from parents and transferred to the Kardashians, American Idol, UFC, NFL, NBA, Desperate Housewives, The Bad Girls Club, and Bachelor. I will be failing in my memory if I do not mention the internet as kids have internet in their rooms without any restraint. Where will they keep the TV and the follie the grandeur some of you have imbued in them to learn?

If an American teacher lost his/her job, it is befitting for him or her to apply for the position of a secretary because during their teaching career, they fill so much paperwork. They have to do that for legal purposes. Just the paperwork alone could take one third of his/her time. Tell me how you expect the teacher to be efficient? The teacher should be given time to do research and not to fill paperwork, babysit and practice flummery to placate the absentee and irate parent, and to scratch the back and ass of dysfunctional administrators. 
            There are teachers who would have loved to be holistic as I did. I visited all my students at home, and that usually reduces the dropout rate. But when teachers have too many requirements, they spend their time preparing programs that entertain rather than educate kids. That is why you see language teachers playing Dominos and Jeopardy in class. They have to watch movies to show to the kids. They show movies 3 days a week, one day game, and one day they do the other stuff (teaching). So, would that have been bad for any teacher to strike? The strike in itself was not and is not bad. It is instead the reaction of the authorities that is bad.  This strike if for the betterment of the students and succor to the absentee parents.
When the Israelites went on strike for better working and living conditions, Pharaoh instead increased their burdens. However, the more he tried to repress them, the more he buoyed their desire to be free (Exodus 1 and 2). Rather than repress striking workers like Rhamm Emmanuel is trying to do, he should negotiate because he will not win and he will be on the wrong side of history. Another example again was Rehoboam. The people sent a delegation to see him to lighten their working conditions. Instead, he relied on the counsel of the young people who advised him to not negotiate but instill an iron grip. The results are that he too failed. (I Kings 12:1-33). When authorities fail to negotiate with their workers, the end result is disgruntled workers and low turnover and or rebellion.  The teachers should strike and even if they ended, they have made a statement to revive and revamp the moribund education in the United States.

Until then, there is nothing bad with a Christian striking.

St Arrey of Ntenako



“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). "It is not how well you know a person; it is how well you treat them that they will live longer and happier with you." Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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