(continuing the discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of unions and collective bargaining). I brought this post over from the previous thread because I think it addresses two of the core reasons teachers tend to get so much blame and so little sympathy from the media, politicians and members of the general public at times Since teaching has traditionally been done by women, I think it is often viewed as an "easy" job. Comparing teachers to cops and firefighters is like comparing airline pilots to stewardesses. Most people are going to feel the pilot has the more difficult job, even though the stewardess (or flight attendant) is the one that has to deal 100+ different personalities during the flight and try to keep ALL of them satisfied. I also think the fact that everyone has been in the classroom for several years themselves makes them feel qualified to judge how easy (or difficult) a job teaching really is. That is like the comparison to a play mentioned in the other thread, however, because all most people see in the classroom is the final result. They don't see the hours spent behind the scenes making sure everything runs smoothly once the bell rings. The final factor (not mentioned in the previous thread) is the fact that teachers "get the summer off". Again, the general public doesn't see that many teachers have to work a second job during the summer to help make ends meet and often must continue working that second job (or another one) part-time during the school year. They also don't see the time spent by teachers working IN their classrooms during the summer to get ready for the upcoming year. Nope. All they see is a "3 month vacation", which means teaching is just that much more of a "cushy" job.