For many teachers across the city this means it is time to hunker down, update the resume, close your classroom door, and hope for the best.
For me, it means action. I wonder what I can do as an individual teacher that can influence larger policy or mobilize others across the city to make the lives of our children better. To that end I attend meetings of various organizations, trying to learn what is best of all of them and how to apply their skills to help my students.
But there are two groups that are notoriously not paying attention to us: the administration at the School District of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.
If they were smart, they would both be engaging teachers across the city in a collaborative effort to make change. I'm not talking about holding so-called "community meetings" over the course of a month. I am talking about a consistent push by people downtown to see, experience, and survey what it is like on our end and what we need to make things better.
There are many of us who have ideas and would be happy to help implement them. But the only way we will is if others listen. So, I beg of you: please open your ears.