Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Teamwork

I’ve been a Giants fan for over 50 years. The great teams of the 1950s are hazy childhood memories. My first recollection of the New York Giants being “my team” goes back to the seven year old days of my life when I would retreat to the backyard of my folks little S. California post-war home and practice making Willie Mays’ catch from the ’54 World Series. Not the over the shoulder basket catch that has become an iconic moment, but a jumping version I thought would suffice. Last night, as the final Presidential debate dominated most of the news stations, the Giants again made it to the World Series with a scrappy little team that refused to quit. As President Obama showered Mitt Romney with his forthright, measured foreign policy salvos, the Giants lived up to their name in the San Francisco rain. Nice evening. While I can’t share my politics with my father, every post-season Giants game he’s with me. The transplanted New Yorker, like the team, gave me a love of baseball that has endured for almost 60 years. Growing up a Giants fan in Los Angeles took a bit of toughness too. It served me well. So I’ll watch the World Series, but the best of the season is already over. Another Series win would be nice, but it’s not necessary after the 2010 victory. That was a “one time before I die” experience for this Giants fan.
This morning many teachers I know are enjoying a good laugh at Mr. Romney’s proclamation “I love teachers” last night. I’d sure like to hear him elaborate on that a little more. Is that why his prospective Secretary of Education is anti-union? If any organization gets a bad rap it’s teacher’s unions. They have been demonized. This from people who have never taught. The public perception concerns unions as obstacles to progress. They certainly do have some things to clean up but what gets me is that rarely is the importance of teacher’s unions discussed when it comes to protecting academic freedom. That is the real issue here. Academic freedom that gives the teacher the right to make curriculum decisions is the real threat. It allows teachers to be creative and hones their skills. In whose interests is a skilled, well informed, creative, inspirational teacher a threat? Let’s debate that. Like those scrappy little Giants, there are thousands of teachers who depend their unions to reinforce the democratic ideals they teach.

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