Friday, September 21, 2012

Back to School, Again

This week, for the second time this year, the girls went back to school.

After a seven day break, courtesy of the Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers' Union, my girls went back to third grade, back to friends and learning and wonderful teachers.

The truth is, I'm a big fan of teachers. In the three years that my girls have been in school, they have been taught by five amazing classroom teachers. We're lucky; my children go to a school with supportive parents, engaged administrators, great teachers and no shortage of glue sticks or pencils. Not every child in Chicago can say the same.

Was a strike the best way to create change in a system that desperately needs repair?

Explaining a union strike to children is hard, explaining a union strike to children without tainting either side with politics is even harder. Sending them back to class with the same respect for their teachers was my primary goal, not an easy task with strangers telling them on the bus that their teachers should be at work and not out fighting with the city. 

We rallied; we supported our teachers, we talked about democracy and fairness and negotiations. We learned even when there was no school, because it's my job too.

And on Wednesday Mary and Kate stepped into school just as enamored with their teacher as they were way back on September 4th. Me too.

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