I was at the Striking Teachers Demonstration today near the Knesset, in Jerusalem.
There was a man there, of my generation, holding a sign that said:
I'M HUNGER-STRIKING FOR THE SAKE OF MY GRANDCHILDREN!
Recently, I had blogged about "mother's love," (http://shilohmusings.blogspot.com/2007/10/mothers-answer.html) and here I was, just a few steps from this determned looking man.
Even though I was in a red strikers T shirt, I "changed my hat" to that of blogger/journalist to discover more. He answered my American accented Hebrew with Russian accented Hebrew:
"Are you really hunger striking?"
"Who are you?"
"I'm a school principal in Tzrifin. My children have all graduated university, and now I'm worried about my grandchildren."
Whenever I read about education in the states, I read complaints about how it's "dumbing down." It seems like no place could kids pass the tests from ten or twenty years ago. They just don't know as much.
The Israeli Government, delusional as usual, is convinced that young academics are the cure, and they want to force us, the about to retire age-group, out. I didn't see too many young teachers at either demonstration. I also overheard some teachers talking about how some of the universities no longer have enough students to train as History Teachers, so they closed the department.
And this sign says:
WHOEVER WANTS TO CHANGE PLACES WITH ME, GET UP, AND TAKE IT!
Now, in all honesty. I love teaching. It's challenging and rewarding. I've worked at all sorts of jobs and on the whole teaching my high school teenage boys, or attempting to each them can be a lot of fun. I enjoy it more than all the other jobs I've ever had. But that doesn't mean that the government can pay such a low wage and offer difficult conditions.
Must get to bed. Tomorrow I go to my favorite "students" after work, to my grandchildren, of course!