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The Mechanics
« Where Do We Go From Here on the Education Front? Alderman Rhymefest? »

Classroom Mechanics Tue Oct 19 2010

Announcing Classroom Mechanics: An Oral History Project of Teaching in Chicago

classroommechanics.jpgWe are none of us either angels or devils, and that fact is where the best stories live.

Teachers are wrongly lauded as heroes and demeaned as Those Who Can't.

At Mechanics we've been covering the struggle of educators and parents to overcome a rigid bureaucracy and a generation of onslaught on the public schools. We can lose our heads -- we all of us can -- and begin taking sides that refuse nuance.

How around that?

We decided to go out and talk to teachers -- public and charter, neophytes and seasoned, currently working and laid off -- and bring their own voice to the discussion. We weren't interested in hearing about the wild regrets and the bloody sweats, but the day to day. What it takes to teach, what a teacher faces, and how they're rewarded and punished.

This project is ongoing. Over the next few months we want to bring as many teacher voices to you our readers as we can get to. If you are yourself an educator, a student, a parent, or just know someone who'd be interested in participating or who should participate, please, get in touch.

Wherever you are in the debate on the future of education, you must agree that we have to all of know us what it means -- and what it takes -- to teach, first. Let's not reduce things to abstractions or absurdities. Let's not exalt angels and condemn devils that after all are neither.

Our first history will go up tomorrow, Wednesday, October 20.

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Saya / October 19, 2010 6:59 PM

I teach digital media in various CPS schools serving under-resourced students across the city. While I don't think I have much to spotlight in regards to this story, I do work with a lot of amazing teachers and students who would be good candidates for your project. Feel free to get in touch if interested.

Great idea by the way!

Mac 'n Cheese Productions

Sharon / November 2, 2010 12:45 PM

I have taught in private schools in the city and suburbs for twenty years. In addition to my experiences both my parents are teachers. My dad taught in the Chicago public schools for over thirty five years and my mom, started teaching in the Chicago public schools forty years ago and is now teaching in a north shore public school.

I feel it is SO important for people to unserstand what it is like to be a teacher. As you stated, the day to day, the nitty gritty. What teachers deal with on MANY occasions had little or nothing to do with educating students and it is exhausting.

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Classroom Mechanics Oral History Project
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About Mechanics

Mechanics is the politics section of Gapers Block, reflecting the diversity of viewpoints and beliefs of Chicagoans and Illinoisans. More...
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