In the last 2 weeks I have seen the teachers in the Washington Township school district actively picketing at three different back to school nights. I have also seen parents who refuse to take their information or make a nasty comments under their breath. I don’t think that the teacher’s realize that they are doing more harm than good for their cause. In the tough economic times we are faced with, many people feel that you are lucky to have a job, so too bad if you don’t have a contract. While I believe that the teachers should be awarded a contract, as a parent I do not agree with some of the tactics they employ to draw awareness to their plight. In Washington Township, teachers have refused to attend most of the home and school activities over the last few years in an effort to gain parent support, but I feel that it is creating dissention between the parents and teachers. The latest tool in their arsenal was to deny graduating seniors letters of recommendation to the colleges that they are applying to. I find this to be reprehensible. The kids have worked so hard to further their education and contract or no contract didn’t we choose this career because of the kids? It is not their fault (or their parents for that matter) that contracts cannot be agreed upon. When did teaching kids become more about a contract and less about the KIDS? I think as future educators we need to reevaluate the importance of contracts and focus on the kids. Having worked in business most of my life I have a very unique perspective as a future teacher. Most employees don’t have contracts or tenure. In my opinion, if you suck at your job , you shouldn’t have a job. I realize that a teachers salary is inferior to that of someone in the business sector with the same education and qualifications, but asking them to pay 5% biweekly towards their health insurance is not unreasonable. I currently pay 20% weekly towards mine. I think it’s time for teachers to understand that the times they are a changing so either roll with it, or realize that there are an awful lot of up and coming education students who will happily accept less stringent terms in order to secure a position.