Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Teacher, Teacher...

Can you teach me?
Can you tell me all I need to know?
Teacher, teacher, can you reach me?
Or will I fall when you let me go? Oh no. 


Guess what? The week of May 2-6 is Teacher Appreciation Week! May 3 is Teacher Appreciation Day and to celebrate, the Texas House is proposing huge cuts to education! But in their infinite wisdom they approved a tax break for those who want to buy yachts costing $250,000.00 or more. I could almost guarantee that none of those people would be teachers. Isn’t there something wrong with this picture?

With the current budget proposal, approximately $7.8 billion will be cut from Texas public school budgets. Four community colleges will be closed and about 60,000 students will lose the financial aid that’s allowing them to further their education. As many as 97,000 teachers and school employees will lose their jobs. And there’s $9.4 billion in the rainy day fund. If this doesn’t qualify as a rainy day I don’t know what will!

To add insult to injury, substitute teaching could cost any laid-off teacher their unemployment compensation. The reason is a clause in the Labor Code designed to keep educators from seeking unemployment benefits in the summer or during holiday breaks when they have a guaranteed job waiting. School personnel can’t get benefits during a break if they were employed before the break. It carries over to substitute teaching. It makes sense for full time employed teachers. It doesn’t for substitutes.

It doesn’t matter that the substitute services are only part-time and on an as-needed basis. The commission ruled that if a district is using someone to substitute they could very well offer that substitute full time work in the fall or after a holiday. Therefore, the way the law reads it means they can’t be paid unemployment benefits during the breaks.  Thankfully the commission is supposed to be writing new benefit explanations that will warn teachers that substitute teaching isn’t worth it! I’m sure they’ll be a little more politically correct than I am and not tell them that if they substitute they’ll be screwed.
You're screwed.
In the meantime, if you can read this you need to thank a teacher. It doesn’t matter if you learned at home or at school, someone taught you and that makes them a teacher.  You should be grateful that they took their time to help you to become a better person. And when the next election comes around…remember to read the ballot carefully and express your appreciation to the powers that be this time…by not asking them back.

Just when I thought I finally learned my lesson well,
There was more to this than meets the eye.
And for all the things you taught me, only time will tell,
If I'll be able to survive. Oh yeah.

I’m fortunate that I had good teachers, (for the most part anyway), during my years in school. My first grade teacher gave me my love for school. If I’d had someone who wasn’t devoted and caring (even though she had a loud, gravelly voice that scared me!), I wouldn’t have done as well as I did because I was a terribly shy little girl. Thank you Mrs. Martha Roberston! 

One of my favorite high school teachers was my favorite because she thought I had potential. She encouraged me to explore different possibilities not only in art and craft type things but in other areas as well. She believed in me. There’s more to that story but maybe it can be in another blog post. Anyway, one time she spun some yarn and asked me to knit her a sweater. I even got to work on it at school, in classes besides hers! She did a lot for me and doesn’t even know it. Thank you Ms. Carol Klattenhoff!

Speaking of knitting, I made another ball. They are fun but this time I had a harder time getting it together for some reason. But I finally got it.

I also put the beads on the blue/green shawl. I had two on each fringe and it was too heavy. So I took one off each fringe. I still don’t like it. I think I’m going to take it completely apart and do it again on a smaller needle. I pulled out the telephone pole #17’s for this one but I think I’ll try again with a 15. I’ve got another ball going but that’s about all for now. I’m just in the mood for some no brain knitting. Oh yeah, I still haven’t blocked the crocheted shawl. I’m beginning to think I might have to hire it out!

This little guy is thankful for his teacher and so am I. Without teachers we don't have a future. And that's nothing to look forward to! 

Am I ready for the real world, will I pass the test?
You know it's a jungle out there.
Ain't nothin' gonna stop me, I won't be second best,
But the joke's on those who believe the system's fair, oh yeah.

Teacher, teacher, can you teach me?

Can you tell me if I'm right or wrong?


  1. I love you choice of colors on you knitted ball. I really need to make some - I think my cat would love one - a male he is and love the color pink... GREAT article today - you rock all the way!!


  2. I so look forward to your blog. I'm glad that your teachers gave you the boost you needed along the way! I can remember the special ones in my life and actually can't think of a teacher who didn't have a good influence on my life. I have been so upset by the "goings on" in the state capitol that I haven't been able to form a coherent sentence about it. Thank you for putting it all so well.

  3. @Evielynne...you really should try one. It's fun. Someone suggested putting a plastic cat toy with a bell inside.

    Got on my soapbox today about teachers. Sorry!

  4. @Cteitelman...Thank you for the compliment! I didn't intend for it to come out that way but after seeing those articles I saw red! ha ha It's plain scary. I'm in a STAAR training today. Even scarier!