Yesterday I wrote an article describing how the teachers’ unions have affected practice — directly and indirectly, negatively and positively — simply by what they choose to advocate and/or include in collective agreements.
Unfortunately, as a result of that article and follow-up comments, I also discovered another teacher-union negative effect — namely, that classroom teachers are now so personally linked to their unions that they see criticism about what their unions do or have done as criticism of themselves.
Not good. Linked in that way puts them in a type of symbiotic relationship (in the psychiatric sense), a relationship the union could clearly exploit. Moreover, it would have the desired result that the rank and file do exactly what they are told, no questions asked.
Which goes a long way towards explaining why so few educators dare to speak out — even when they are retired. It’s not the professional ethics we were taught. It’s the fear of being shunned by colleagues and their union masters.
As such, when they visit here, all too often they resort to minimizing what I write that questions their assumptions about their unions and in the case of yesterday’s post, to not deal with what I actually wrote.
The reality is that teachers are teachers. They are not their unions. As such, they need to allow for informed and reasoned criticism about what their unions do — without taking it personally.