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.
I think Bolter put it best when he wrote “With any technique of writing on stone or clay, on papyrus or paper, and on the computer screen the writer may come to regard the mind itself as a writing space.” When you think about writing in these terms the reality is that no matter how much technology we invent to change the structure of how we create, we still create within our own minds. With technology we have the world at our fingertips. What we choose to do with the endless supply of information is completely up to each person individually.
Personally, I am not someone who enjoys to sit and read. Maybe it’s because I have to read for school or maybe because my life is so busy I can’t seem to find the time. Whatever the case may be, I don’t see why there is so much controvery over printed books vs. electronic books. My mother is an avid reader who typically reads a book in a day or two. Being an older person who is not very technologically saavy I did not know how she would receive my gift to her of a Kindle. She has taken on the challenge and really enjoys the diversity of this technology. The most difficult thing for someone who reads as much as my mom is keeping track of what you have already read. The great part about the Kindle is that it allows her to check a databank of books she has read so that she does not duplicate. She used to run around the book store with a giant handwritten list of books to compare her purchases to.
It’s always going to come down to personal preference and the ability to step outside your comfort zone and embrace the changing world we live in. Creative writers are not changing the overall writing process. The thoughts and ideas are still coming from our minds. It is the method we use to take the information from our minds and committ them to the written word that will be forever evolving. We can accept these changes and find ways to incorporate them into our creative process to make us more productive writers or we can refuse the changes and ignore the changing world around us. The choice is ours!