Big Bang Theory is one of our favorite shows. Daniel and I don’t have TV (just Netflix), but every Thursday night we stream that night’s show on our laptop. We’ve been looking forward to this next season all summer, and a couple weeks ago I came across a news story that said it was going to be delayed. The cast of the show didn’t show up for the first day of shooting because they wanted to be paid more. Specifically, they wanted a million dollars… PER EPISODE. That’s an insane amount of money, and the only other TV actors to get that much were the Friends actors. The end of the article said something to the effect of “don’t worry though, it won’t be delayed long because let’s face it…they will get the money.” And sure enough, they have started shooting now because the deal was signed within a couple weeks.
I said all that to say this. As much as I like the show…it’s a TV SHOW. It adds nothing of value to anyone’s life (except the actors!)
A little closer to home, our teachers (the people who add value to little lives) are also asking for something too. Their requests are a little more reasonable though. They want a fair wage (which is still too low in my opinion), and they want class sizes small enough that they can actually give our kids some personal attention. Why is the government considering this so unreasonable? Their job is important. I don’t say that flippantly. It’s very, very important. They are not just teaching our children how to read, write, calculate, and work together. They are spending a good part of each day with our children, and as a parent, I can say that if another adult is influencing that much of my child’s life, I don’t want that adult to be stressed and pulled in so many directions that they can’t spend the time they want with each kid.
We are already very blessed with the school our girls go to. Those teachers to the absolute best they can with what they have (which I’m sure is true in almost every school), and they do their best to teach our kids life skills as well as regular school subjects.
A couple of years ago I gave the girls a treat after school. I had accidentally put one too many on the table. Tegan came over and handed it to me.
“Wow tegan, thank you for being honest!” I said.
“You’re welcome. I thought about eating it, then I thought ‘no, I should have integrity’” she said.
They had just learned about integrity that day in school. In fact, they still get certificates occasionally when they model integrity, compassion, and helpfulness in class.
Now, you could say, “yeah, but parents should be teaching those things at home and not relying on the school to do it.” I agree with that, and we do. But like I said a few sentences up, the teachers influence our kids for the better part of a day, and it’s very comforting to know that they are carrying on or enhancing what kids are learning at home. It would kind of suck if it went the opposite way, don’t you think? And I’m afraid that if class sizes are allowed to increase more and more, the poor teachers won’t have time to teach those things as much as they may want to, because it will take all day just to get through the basic reading and writing!
I know, I know, I try not to write about controversial things, but this is important. Give the teachers what they want. They are not being spoiled actors demanding more than they need….they are the people who are teaching our children, the next generation of adults, the skills they need to be the architects, doctors, and inventors that the world needs. They just request the tools they need to do their job as effectively as possible.
PS I have a five-year-old who should be staring kindergarten on Tuesday. She has been practicing her letters and writing her name for over a year in preparation. She has gotten frustrated with herself because she can’t read yet and she wanted to before going to kindergarten. She has her first day of school outfit picked out and hung up in the closet. And now the day is almost here and I have to tell her that she can’t go.
And why? Because the government doesn’t see some of these things as important. They are important because our children need to be taught things, like conflict resolution, better than the government’s level of understanding on the subject. Figure it out. Our kids want to go to school. And our teachers want to teach them.