IF WHAT Sandra Shea is proposing ("Hey, teachers: Do the math") comes to fruition, I'll never grade a test or homework again, forget about assigning them. When 3:04 comes, I'm out the door. And, on Saturday and Sunday, when my wife and kids want to go on a trip but I'm busy preparing interesting lessons for the upcoming week and finding my own resources . . . forget that, too.

Every day will be "Open your textbooks from 1990 to page 330, substitute 'Russia' wherever it says 'Soviet Union' and complete the questions on page 334 in your notebook, which I won't check anyway."

And I will have no idea what a "college recommendation" is, or even how one might approach writing one.

1,270 hours of work per year, my ass. Ridiculous.

George Bezanis


Although a good start, I believe that your column is too lenient on these teachers (must be because of your enormous respect for them).

You were too subtle in suggesting that they should limit their work to classroom hours only, and take supplies from school to their homes instead of vice versa, just like everyone in the private sector. After all, why should they put in more effort than necessary when they can't rely on Social Security after their retirement? Though they do get summers off - where they have a chance to earn more money, lucky dogs!

Teachers act as if their job is so important when it's just dealing with children and being the sole bearer of responsibility when test scores are low. (I don't believe all that mumbo jumbo about poverty level and school-district financing affecting student performance. I am sure your sister can affirm that.)

In short, maybe you could tell it like it is in your next column. I eagerly await your modest proposal.

Baby Djojonegoro

Oakland, Calif.

Your article basically was nonsensical comparing public-school teachers to the private sector. I suggest that you spend a day or two with a Philly teacher. You really haven't got a clue.

I got approved for my mortgage based on my salary, not my salary minus 13 percent. I'm still paying back student loans for courses I'm required to take to maintain my license. I don't know who's getting reimbursed, but the School District of Philadelphia does not offer full-tuition reimbursement. I've been reimbursed a grand total of $2,000 - the equivalent of one course toward my master's degree. The ripple effect of these cuts will be devastating to all involved.

It's so sad that many teachers won't be able to afford to work in Philadelphia. We work under a contract, and to be told that the terms are just being cast aside isn't fair. I think that the SDP is optimistically foolish to expect Philly teachers to passively accept what's being imposed on us. We have families to care for, children, mortgages, student loans and bills. If your job told you today that you would be taking home 25-30 percent less, what would your course of action be?

As a little girl I dreamed of becoming a teacher. I held my teachers in such high esteem and I absolutely loved them and school. I never thought that as a teacher I would ever be labeled as greedy and Public Enemy No. 1. I rightfully deserve the salary that I've qualified for under our collective-bargaining agreement.

Dr. Hite is correct in saying that you don't become a teacher to get rich. But I didn't become a teacher to slide downward toward poverty. I drive an almost 14-year-old car. I have to stop myself from going in certain stores so I don't buy things for my class and kids. There are always supplies needed or a child that needs socks, a coat, etc.

I'm not siphoning off of the system; I contribute to it each and every day. I'm just so tired of this anti-teacher rhetoric. It's disheartening and discouraging. I just spent two days cleaning out a filthy classroom. Two days out of the last days of summer break I was in a hot, stuffy classroom sweeping floors, wiping desks and chairs, throwing out trash, trying to get the room ready for my new class. I'm disgusted by rodents but still I wiped away and then sanitized to get rid of their droppings. This isn't about my wanting a pat on my back or about my wanting additional compensation for all that I do. It's about the SDP and the SRC honoring the terms that they agreed to.

I get my scores from national boards by December and I wonder what it would be like to work in a school district with adequate supplies and resources. I wonder what it would be like not to have to come early to wipe tables free of mouse droppings. I wonder what it would be like to get tuition reimbursement for a special-ed cert. I wonder what it would be like to work in a school system that honors and respects my work as a committed educator.

Chris-Tina Washington