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.