The CPS Grind on Teachers By Katie Osgood
Recently, in Chicagoland, a story hit the papers about a teacher committing suicide. She wrote in her suicide note that the major reason for this drastic act was work-related. According to her colleagues, this woman took her own life because of the bullying and fear she experienced at her school.As I discussed this event with a friend who is a current CPS teacher, he mentioned that in the comments section of the article many non-educators were shocked and horrified at this tragic happening but were also quick to assume that the woman must have been “soft” or had some kind of underlying mental health problem. But, he quipped, when many CPS teachers heard about the incident, they just shook their heads and said, “Yeah, I can see that happening.”
Truth is, so could I. When I think back to my measly one year of teaching at a horribly-run CPS elementary school, I can very easily imagine that scenario unfolding with a number of my colleagues and yes, even with myself. Did you all catch that? Suicide is not considered shocking in the realm of teaching in CPS.
And I don’t think the general public understands the toll that years of working in an increasingly horrible environment coupled with the latest wave of teacher-bashing actually takes on the people who do the hard work of education.
Let me try and paint you a picture: (more…)