http://www.suntimes.com/news/educat...ass-home-visits-but-fewer-teacher-raises.html There is a lot brewing here in Chicago. We have somehow become the most hated citizens of the city. Our contract is not up until next year, but with a new administration of both the school district and the city, they are saying they can't pay us our raise. I think some people are okay with that. Though now they keep adding fuel to the fire (they want to force us to open our contract a year early). Today it was announced we would be doing "home visits." I worked for Head Start in my district and they started allowing "home visits" to be done in the school because principals feared for our safety if we went out into the neighborhoods. I work in a really good school in an up and coming neighborhood. My students come from all over the city. I utilize public transportation. I am not a social worker. I do provide my families with links to lots of resources because the social worker at my school is inept and I used to work with a fabulous one who gave me lots of resources for families. I have 40 students. So I was okay with the pay cut. I am happy to remain employed. A strike is brewing. The letters to the editor against us in the paper are mounting. The two "major papers" have been bad-mouthing us left and right. There is one guy in one of the free papers that has our backs. In order to strike- since they passed a new law, 75% of the membership that is eligible for voting must vote yes. I was more of the, I'll just take the pay cut and be happy to have my job. Except the attack on us continues. Now they want us to work a longer school day and year, with no more pay. Now they're trying to pull the "we're salaried." Yes we are- but we also swipe in and out and get paid on an hourly basis. Additionally, with the home visits etc. happening- I'm just not sure when enough is enough. They keep hammering and hammering the diatribe that We get out at 3:00, have the shortest school day in the year and have summers off I'm sick of hearing it. My report cards alone take about two - three hours per student to create (Teaching Strategies Gold) per student (a low estimate). My IEPs also take a long time because their system requires you to wait 30 seconds every time you check a box. Both of these have to be done on the internet. I get 2.5 hours of prep time a week, that is often taken away by meetings. I am currently teaching ESY. I sure don't only work from 8:30 - 3:00 and apparently don't have my summers off. I know most of my fellow teachers do not as well. I work at an AWESOME SCHOOL but I am sick of turning on the news, reading the paper and seeing my profession being bashed over and over and over. I hope we have a turn around at some point. I really do.