Current Connections 1

The article I chose to research is called “A Century of Teachers Organizing. What can we learn?” Written by the organization LAWCHA. This article talks about the history of teachers over the past century and the setbacks they had to face and the goals they achieved. This article talks about two different associations called the AFT and the NEA and their influences on teachers to stand up for what they believed in and for fair pay. This article expresses the achievements that the two organizations made like with labor laws and fair pay and talked about how unionizations of teachers were able to stand the test of time and make it through the changing economy. Teachers are a steady profession, surviving two world wars and economic depressions due to their love of teaching and belief that what they are doing is what they are called to do. Even though the events that had taken place throughout history tested these organizations in ways that would break other organizations, teachers stood strong and fought for what they believed in. I chose this article because it related closely to what we were assigned to read in class called “The Progressive Era, 1890-1950.” This article talks about the movements in history that dealt with education and the people and organizations that helped shape it.  The Progressive Era was a time for change and for equality that believed that with the turn of the century, it was time for improvement in all parts of the workforce, including teachers. Everyone was ready to move forward and begin fighting for their own rights and the rights of others. This article talked about teachers organizing, something that stood out to me because I was interested to see the history of teachers fighting for equal rights. In the article we read for class, it talked about how it was the duty of their people in a democracy to fight for the rights they deserved. The right to education is a right that everyone should have and to achieve this, the school systems needed teachers. Teachers found that they were under appreciated in the past and wanted their conditions to change. Teachers wanted an increase in salaries to keep up with the high expectations that the professional culture wanted them to be and they wanted more equal pay for how much work they were doing. This article showed that teachers were tired of being treated so poorly and were fed up with not having a voice to express their complaints. The article I chose showed how they went about these issues and how they were able to get some of the things they wanted. This article showed how the ideas related in the assigned reading were fought for and how despite all the challenges they faced, the organizations still stood strong in their beliefs and they fought for the future teachers rights. I found it interesting how the article I chose was able to tell more about the history that the assigned reading started talking about and how perfectly the two fit and complemented each other.

Mertz, Adam. “A Century of Teacher Organizing: What Can We Learn?” LAWCHA, www.lawcha.org/century-teaching-organizing/.

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