PSAT for 5-8-12: Teacher Appreciation Week – what to do and what NOT to do

This is National Teacher Appreciation Week. Teachers have been the whipping post for “reformers” for several years now, and the least we can do is take a break from the privatization and teacher-bashing rhetoric to honor teachers honestly and strongly.

So, what did the man in the bully pulpit do? President Obama issued a proclamation declaring this “National Charter Schools Week:” “I call on States and communities to support charter schools and the students they serve.”

No. Don’t do that to teachers. Not this week.

And you might send a stern note to whitehouse.gov or send a tweet #barackobamashouldhonorteachersandnotcharterschoolsthisweek.

Did you get a “heartfelt e-mail” from Michelle Rhee, asking you to honor teachers this week by clicking on her web site to hear the messages of thanks for teachers from her billions of members? A lot of people did.

You notice that I have not included a link. That’s because the minute you click on any link from Michelle Rhee, sugar-coated as each one is in the gingerbread of her lies about how much she supports “great” teachers, she will add you to her pretend army in her crusade to destroy public schools through privatization, high-stakes testing for students, teachers and schools, charters, vouchers, “virtual school.” She claims several million members already.

Don’t do it. Uh-uh. You can find out all you need to know about Michelle Rhee here and about how change.org is complicit in her efforts by redirecting people to misleading RheeĀ  petitions (sign if you love teachers, eg) after they have signed someone else’s petition. Rhee pays change.org to do this something like $2 per signature). Read about a PAA member’s efforts to get them to stop here.

And please spread the word about Rhee petitions. Treat them like the virus-loaded messages they are.

What about applauding your local pol for tipping his/her hat to teachers?

Except in rare cases, don’t do that. Please.

Instead, share this message from a Syracuse, NY teacher: “Keep your empty words to yourself. Your actions have already shown us what you really think.”

So, what to do?

I think you know what to do. And now you know what not to do.

 

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About the PURE Thoughts blogger
Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.