Okay, this isn't local but I'm from Ohio so it's personal. Republican Governor John Kasich is making headlines because of this:
And so if I were not president but king in America I would abolish all teachers’ lounges where they sit together and worry about how “woe is us.”
Good grief! So much of corporate ed. reform comes from people who know absolutely nothing about education. And here we have a man who is clearly obsessed with what goes on in the Teachers' Lounge. He doesn't know, so perhaps he feels excluded? No idea. But he doesn't know, so he just makes it up.
When I was eighteen I thought I might want to be a Congregational minister, because I wanted to write sermons and preside over macaroni suppers. Over time it became clear to me that being a minister entailed much more than that. There are budgets and meetings and crises of faith. Hours of hospital visits, anxious waiting, participating in the suffering of the dying. It's not all church pot lucks.
John Kasich's view of education would benefit from a similar dose of reality. He truly is a prime example of the damage one can do if one knows virtually nothing about education. Perhaps if someone had only invited him into the Teachers' Lounge during his formative years, much of this might have been avoided.
So, in case any of my readers share a similar curiosity, here's basic list of what goes on in the Teachers' Lounge.
1. Bathroom breaks.
2. Eating lunch.
3. Basic social conversations while eating lunch.
4. Drinking diet coke. Taking Advil.
5. Meeting with other teachers to plan or work on helping struggling students.
6. Personal phone calls to child's doctor, auto place, etc.
7. Grabbing something from vending machine because there's too much work to take a real lunch break.
"Woe is us"? Mr. Kasich, teachers are far too busy at work to sit around and think "woe is us." In fact, they are far too busy to give tours of the mysterious teachers' lounge, but I'm sure they would drop everything and do just that if it would help you broaden your educational horizons. Because teachers, you know, they're helpful that way.
And remember: asking questions is a good way of finding things out.