Teachers are not always appreciated by the school districts they work for. Many are loved and admired by their students, their families, and communities. Teachers aren’t’ always provided with adequate resources to effectively do their job…teach.
Conditions must be comfortable in school environments; not just for the students, but the teachers too. How can someone be expected to do their best for their pupils if they’re at risk of falling sick? And, how can adults expect the most of their children if they’re unable to concentrate?
Molly Oster is a teacher who’s had enough. She’s officially on strike because of the unacceptable conditions in her classroom.
Molly used social media to show people how cold it was in her classroom when she posted a picture of her thermometer. She alleges she’s fallen sick because of the frigid temperatures inside her room. She’s layered up, bringing extra clothing but it still hasn’t helped. Molly says she and her students have suffered from this discomfort since the beginning of the academic year.
She is refusing to come to work in these intolerable conditions; Molly is prepared to back up her promise by using her remaining sick days if that’s what it takes. She won’t be returning until the heater in her classroom is fixed.
She wrote, “I have 58.5 sick days remaining. That will get me to April. It should be comfortable by then. I refuse to get sick from sitting in my classroom.”
To those who may think her strike is selfish, she says, ““What about the kids?” What about them? If I get sick, the students’ education suffers when I’m absent; if I show up not feeling well, they won’t get my best. They lose when we lose. Until teachers start to realize this and start getting mad and demand change about it, we will continue to be treated like second-class “professionals.””
Several of Molly’s students are behind her efforts. They’re staying on top of their lessons with the help of a substitute teacher.
Do you agree with Molly’s decision to go on strike? what other options does she have to make her voice heard and to force those in positions of authority to take notice of her concerns? How long do you think Molly will remain away from work? Will her choice to go on strike make a difference in the long run? Or could it only serve to hurt her position at the school?
Let’s hope Molly’s heater will be fixed so her students can have their favorite teacher back teaching them once more.