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The CPS scab tool kit.

September 8, 2012

The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that the Chicago Public Schools will try to open 144 scab schools if there is a strike Monday. They will be operated by non-union personnel and administrators.

CPS is providing a scab tool kit for those who will be filling in for real teachers.

To be fair, many of the non-union, non-administrative employees will have no choice but to show up.

As a teacher who has been on strike, and as a parent of children who went to CPS the last time there was a strike, I would not feel that my children were safe in an environment that CPS is creating. While many of us who have had the professional responsibility of teaching and caring for children find the scab tool kit laughable, I also think it is dangerous for children to be supervised by totally untrained people.

• “Wear a watch — your room may not have a functioning clock.’’

• Dress comfortably as “many schools are NOT air-conditioned.’’

• “You will need to bring your own breakfast and lunch. Please note that you cannot rely on access to refrigerators or microwaves.’’

• “Keep personal items to a minimum.’’

• Sessions for kids run from 8:30 to 12:30 but “you should arrive as early as possible” and be prepared to stay late.

• Bring 30 sharpened pencils, 30 pens and a personal pencil sharpener.

• Bring “stickers or other small inexpensive incentive items.’’

• Bring old magazines and newspapers, puzzles and games.

Non-teachers are given a long list of things to do ahead of time to prepare. They should: study and “internalize’’ recommended classroom management techniques; determine their classroom procedures and “practice explaining them,’’ create a Day One sample schedule, write a supply list and collect it, and “attend trainings.’’

To “create a climate of respect,’’ the tool-kit recommends that non-teachers “communicate with words” and “do not yell, threaten or insult, even if joking.’’

And to make students feel comfortable, they should appear “confident and calm by being firm but friendly. You can accomplish this by writing a general schedule on the board.’’

For third- through eighth-graders, non-teachers are urged to walk students in two single files in the classroom, and “greet each student with a smile and a handshake as they enter.’’

As a “get-to-know-you” game, non-teachers are advised to model a “two truths and a lie’’ game, in which participants share three facts about themselves and students have to guess which one is a lie.

Games to be played during physical education include Simon Says, Farmer in the Dell, Mother May I and Four Corners.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. A CTU supporter and RTAC member permalink
    September 8, 2012 1:52 pm

    Since so many malcontents (CPS & Rahm included) believe that teaching is apparently something ANYONE can do, wouldn’t this be a great opportunity for public education critics to do their civic duty and step up to the plate and volunteer to man these scab schools? The easy part has been done for them already—the CPS gave them a sure fire tool kit that will do the trick and make an even easy job easier! Say Ty et.al., what’s your schedule looking like this coming week?

  2. September 8, 2012 2:05 pm

    They got it covered. I am sure nothing could possibly go wrong. By the way the part about reading a little and internalizing, is that from TFA materials?

  3. Patricia Herrmann permalink
    September 8, 2012 3:58 pm

    For those employees not covered by the bargaining unit, there used to be at least a “no reprisals clause.” No one went back until everyone was protected no matter what their role in the strike. Now that was before the bargaining law. Maybe things are different now. The CTU needs to take a hard line because this is going to be war. And they need to get themselves and everybody straight on that. It would be great if no secretaries or custodians or long term subs crossed the lines.

    And they can’t count on the media. We were fortunate in the papers printed our press releases verbatim. Maybe the CTU needs to organize their own media to keep parents and other parties informed.

    And your expertise would be big. And tell Matt Farmer and Glenn Brown to take to Twitter, please. Pat Herrmann

    Sent from my iPhone

  4. Lee Alexander permalink
    September 8, 2012 6:58 pm

    I am laughing. Very hard. Many are correct, let them see the conditions we work under, and with the children we have relationships with despite their challenges. I predict Alice In Classroomland chaos. WOW.

  5. September 8, 2012 8:35 pm

    I think this is unfair…there are no teacher replacements being hired…CPS is calling homes urging parents to make alternative plans (as Karen Lewis is also recommending)…but for families that need this daycare and meal help, CPS is choosing to make this available…now, is it a political ploy, perhaps…but is CPS hiring “scabs” so school can continue, no…and you are smart enough to distinguish the difference…

    • Fred Klonsky permalink*
      September 8, 2012 9:32 pm

      Dawn,
      Yes. I am smart enough to see a ploy. I also said that non-union, non-administrative CPS employees had no choice. I also know strike breaking activities when I see it. I also know a placemnt no parent should be advised to use for childcare.

    • Barb permalink
      September 9, 2012 12:54 am

      What did parents do this summer? On holidays? Is this what schools have become – daycare facilities and feeding stations? Parents need to take responsibility for thier children. Deal with it.

      • September 11, 2012 10:15 am

        How much time do you think parents can take off to watch their kids? Summer camps are closed (and cost money.) This wasn’t scheduled like holidays and summers are. And the parents are paying taxes for their children to be taught by teachers who already make $76,000 a year and just turned down a 16% raise because they don’t want to be evaluated. In this day and age of job uncertainty, unless parents are unemployed, how much can they risk their jobs for these selfish job-secure teachers?

      • Fred Klonsky permalink*
        September 11, 2012 10:29 am

        Joanne. Facts are stubborn things. Clearly what is most important to you is that someone watches your kids. Great for you. But that’s not a teacher’s job. Teachers are responsible for teaching your kids, which is an entirely different matter. Teachers in Chicago don’t make $76,000 dollars. Most make far less than that. Sleeping during your math class was probably a mistake. The union didn’t turn down a 16% pay raise. The offer was 3% the first year and 2% the second and third year. You add those up and get 16%? See? Sleeping during math? Not good. The reason the teachers are out is not because of the pay offer. Both sides agree that they are close on that point.
        One issue that remains unresolved is this: If you are a teacher with a good evaluation and job performance review and your school closes through no fault of your own, you have no right to a job in another Chicago school. Makes your “job-secure teacher” argument sound kind of stupid, doesn’t it?
        Here’s the thing. If you think taking care of your kids is something you wanted someone else to do, perhaps you should have thought of that before you had them.
        But if you want your kids to have an excellent education in a high quality school district, you should be slipping on a red shirt and joining the teachers in front of your school. They’re actually fighting for your kids. Although you are apparently too busy with other things to notice.

  6. KayEff permalink
    September 8, 2012 9:32 pm

    I honestly hope and pray that some newspaper has the wisdom of interviewing the people who step in and man the classrooms after 1-2 days. I’d love to hear their perspectives about how cooperative many of these children will be. I suspect it’ll be chaos and that needs to be understood that it takes genuine skill to keep these kids in order and on-task.

  7. Barb permalink
    September 9, 2012 1:02 am

    I only hope that this does happen. Perhaps Rahm and JC themselves could take over a 6th or 7th grade classroom. In a school with no air. And no security. Do not bring your body guards. Just your pencils. Don’t forget primary or wide-lined paper, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, paper towels, desk cleaner, kleenex, a few books to read to the children, some chalk or erasable markers for a white board, your own fan, a small cooler for water and a lunch, and remember to wear pants with lots of pockets for anything important like keys, wallet, phone, etc. Truly, what could go wrong here? Not a thing since teaching can be done by any bonehead off the street or off the comment boards of the local newspapers.

  8. Anonymous permalink
    September 9, 2012 2:07 pm

    I “taught” in the library and auditorium as a non-union FTB during the CPS strike of 1980. I can testify, it was ABSOLUTE CHAOS! The students had no access to their grade level materials, and really, who can teach a few hundred children of all grade levels in an auditorium? Not me, that’s for sure, nor anyone else who was there with me. Nothing of any educational value took place during the strike. Parents, I strongly urge you to keep your children at home and arrange something educational for them to do there. Better yet, go to your local school with your children and picket with the teachers. If the strike occurs, this will be a superb teachable moment for learning how to stand up for yourself and others against tyranny and dogmatic bureaucracy.

  9. DZV permalink
    September 9, 2012 8:42 pm

    I’d love to see lots of 125ers come and handle my students for a day or two. Our school is a scab school and I hope my principal has the sense to house everyone on the third floor (just wish it was as hot as it was last week). But alas, I doubt anyone from 125 will actually show up. Our poor sped assisstants and lunch ladies will be handling them all.
    I also think CPS should start providing these services during winter break, spring break, summer break, and every other day off, since apparently parents can no longer take care of their children (sarcasm there). Better yet, maybe they should start dropping them off at birth and picking them up after high school graduation?????

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