Stories

Metro teachers are being judged solely by the color of their skin; asked to change curriculum for black students

While we are still thinking about the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., I wanted to bring a startling development to your attention: public school teachers are being subjected to on-the-job mental abuse and bullying. Teachers are being told they are white supremacists by people who judge them solely on the basis of their skin color. They are forced to listen to crude language (so they could better understand black culture), and then blamed, as whites, for the achievement gap. The kicker? Teachers are being asked to change the "white curriculum" to accommodate black students. Who does this serve? Certainly not teachers or black students.

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Jim’s Story

“It’s important for teachers to find the association that best represents them and what they believe education is all about.” Like many teachers, Jim would have considered joining only the local union, but he didn’t want to belong to the state or national union. He was told this wasn’t an option.

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Sharon’s Story

“I was a satisfied, enthusiastic union member for many years. I became involved because I wanted to try to address the pressures on my classroom that were coming from outside of my classroom,” Sharon shares. “I followed the normal route, I got involved in my building as a union rep… and thought I was advocating for my colleagues, for my students, and for my association, for my union.”

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Mary Shapiro’s Story

Mary Shapiro, a 35-year Minnesota veteran teacher, remembers a time when belonging to a union meant being part of a “local only” association concerned almost entirely with improving working and learning conditions in her school.

“When I first started teaching, union representation wasn’t political at all. The union’s role was…

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Nathan Strenge’s Story

By any measure, Nathan Strenge is an outstanding teacher. Accepted into the Gate’s Foundation’s Teacher Advisory Council, he’s won national teaching honors and been nominated as Minnesota’s Teacher of the Year. But the enormous skill and dedication that earned such recognition were not enough to move the union Nathan financially…

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Linda Hoekman’s Story

Linda Hoekman loves teaching and says she can’t imagine doing anything else. As a high school physics teacher, she loves seeing the joy in students’ eyes when they finally grasp a challenging concept. She assumed that’s what motivated every teacher but learned that not all teachers are determined to give their…

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Aaron Benner’s Story

Aaron Benner is an outstanding Minnesota teacher who knows firsthand what happens when students, and teachers, feel unsafe in the classroom.

“Safety is critical,” he says. “Learning suddenly is on the back burner, everything goes out the window once the classroom has been compromised. Instead of looking at the teacher,…

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