Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Talk about a slow month of work...

The current teacher strike is really slowing me down. In most jobs a month where there's a lull in the work is a good thing; however, as a volunteer it can be a little stressful. It's stressful because all the work you have, is work that you've drummed up the weeks and months prior. The kids and teachers don't just show up. You have to plan, remind, remind, and remind, before a project really gets going. So with the current teacher strike running about 3 weeks long, I've been kinda stuck. The following are just a few thoughts and notes about the strike:

1. The strike is due to a recent law passed where, as I understand it, teacher are receiving a pay increase, but tenured teacher's years of experience will not be counted in the new law.

2. It's been slowly creeping to the schools in my area, and appears to be gaining strength. The teachers of Yuracoto joined the strike instantly, while my other schools had been waiting to see what would happen. Unfortunately at the third week, all my schools had entered the strike, with the CEBE (special ed. school) being the last holdout to fall.

3. Some said the strike would last just a few days, some claim the strike is "indefinite" (which doesn't seem like a strike to me, but more of mass quitting). Only time will tell.

4. The news this morning showed the government officials not showing any signs of breaking, and the strikers in Lima getting pretty violent. The teachers in my area have been meeting twice a day. Once in the morning to throw eggs at teachers still working (as they travel to the rural schools), and once in the afternoon to rally the troops and share front line information.

5. I've decided try to get some after school clubs going in the down time to keep the kids around and active. Although I'm not too fond of teaching English (maybe due to the drunks in my site that shout whatever English word they can think off when I ride by. "Was my name!!!" ), I think I'll fire that club out first to attract the kids back to school, and then go from there... look to my next post on club ideas.


Here's the sight I saw when I rounded the corner to the CEBE on Monday morning. Normally it's nearly empty, with just a few kids running around. Not this week.

Teachers from all around the area listening to motivational speakers. I just took pictures and left, as I don't want to be seen as pro-strike or against the strike. 

The big red sign on the right has the teacher's union name (SUTEP) and that they are holding a national (nacional) strike (huelga).  I still don't how to properly ask someone if they are striking, or how long the strike will last, but if I get the word 'huelga' right they can usually give me the information I need.