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Teachers' Lounge? We Wish, Veteran Educator Says

Teachers' Lounge? We Wish, Veteran Educator Says

During last week's education conference in New Hampshire where several Republican presidential hopefuls discussed education, Ohio Governor John Kasich made some comments that seriously offended America's teachers.

"If I were not president, but if I were King of America, I would abolish all teacher's lounges, where they sit together and worry about 'woe is us,'" Kasich said in a discussion that originally touched on his previous issues with Ohio teacher unions.

"Go ahead, good sir! Get rid of the teachers' lounge. We probably won't even notice. We are too busy doing our job," retorted veteran educator Abby Norman in a post for the Norman said she heard Kasich's comments and not only started to laugh, but wondered if Kasich had been in a public school since he was a student.

Norman, like many teachers who heard Kasich's comments, is offended that someone would assume that in the busy profession of being an educator, time even exists to gather and complain.

"In an official poll (i.e., I asked all my teacher friends on Facebook), I discovered that no teacher on the planet has more than 30 minutes for lunch. Most have between 22 and 27 minutes to execute all lunch time activities," she said.

And she pointed out that "lunch time activities" include far more than just eating lunch. Instead, teachers also have to use the allocated time to do things they can't while teaching around 35 students, such as using the restroom, printing materials, grading papers and answering e-mails.

But "[m]ost often, during the beginning of the year, you will find a teacher during lunch running reconnaissance on her students. This kid has a poor grasp of English, better go check with the ESOL teachers. This student seems angry or distant, better go check with the social worker. This student may not be on track for graduation, better go check with the counselors," she said.

Norman touches on a strain the relationship that is all too frequent between educators and policymakers: a disconnect that continues to grow as our country's workforce of teachers continuously feels misunderstood by those creating the legislation that governs them.

"Governor Kasich thinks the problem with teachers is the teachers' lounge. The problem with teachers is this: We are having to deal with laws that are being passed by people who have not one single clue as to what our job entails or how we do it."

Read Norman's full post here, take our survey and comment with your thoughts below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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