As a general rule, to which I have never seen an exception, classroom teachers know more about what is happening in the schools than editorial writers and pundits.


Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times published an editorial chastising critics of Superintendent John Deasy and accusing them of wanting to go back to the “good old days” when the teachers’ union–United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA)—had more influence than it does today.


But this teacher has a different view of the “good old day.” This is a message for Karen Klein, education editorial writer of the Los Angeles Times:


I have been a teacher for over 20 years. Most of my teaching career has been spent in East Los Angeles. Teaching in this community has never been easy. I don’t know what “nostalgia” I’m supposed to feel about the past. If the author had referred to the “good old days” when my classroom was swept, vacuumed and mopped regularly, I might agree. If the good old days meant having a full time librarian, psychologist, speech therapist and other support staff, I might agree. If the “good old days” meant not having brownish water come out of aging pipes most mornings, then I might agree. If the “good old days” meant having all the children’s bathrooms clean and available for over 1,000 students, stocked with soap and toilet paper, I might become nostalgic too. The fact is our learning and working conditions have never been worse. This became evident with the sweltering heat as schools’ primitive air conditioning systems broke down. But the author places no blame on our superintendent. No- it’s “greedy” teachers like me who purchase supplies for my classroom, including small brooms and baby wipes for kids to use. I remember the “good old days” when I didn’t need to purchase my very own roach motels to keep them from infesting learning materials in my closets during the summer and during the school year as a result of kids eating in the classroom. I really “miss” the days when I didn’t have to pay for my own quality professional development in order to keep up with new advances in education. Thank you L.A. Times for taking me back to the ” good old days.”