Teachers are punks

A teachers union flees from John Stossel:

Last month, 500 angry schoolteachers assembled outside my office. The United Federation of Teachers (UFT) was furious that “Stupid in America,” a “20/20” show I did on education, suggested that some union teachers were lazy. They shouted that I didn’t understand how difficult teaching was, and chanted, “Shame on you!”

Randi Weingarten, head of New York City’s union, took the microphone and hollered, “Just teach for a week!” She said I could select from many schools. “We got high schools, we got elementary schools, we got junior high schools!”

I accepted. I even said I’d let the union pick the school….

Finally, four days before what was supposed to be my first day of class, they canceled. Officially, “they” were the public school administrators who said it might be “disruptive” and that it might “set a precedent” that would open their doors to other reporters.

Too bad. Letting cameras into schools would be a good thing. Taxpayers might finally get to see how more than $200,000 per classroom of their money was being spent.

I wonder why the union even made the challenge. I suspect the UFT didn’t expect me to say yes. When I turned out not to be easily intimidated, the teachers’ union and the government school monopoly folded.

It’s not only that they are lobotomizing the children of America, they’re also chickenshit to boot. If you’re afraid to let a television journalist – a practitioner of what is not generally found to be among the most intellectually gifted occupations in the world – have a crack at doing your job because he might reveal just how easy it is, you’re truly a pathetic specimen.

I rather doubt that Stossel would be overwhelmed. We have between 20 and 30 kids between the ages of 5 through 8 who show up for soccer every week. I have no trouble maintaining discipline even though I’m usually on my own, and I also teach them tactical concepts which demonstrably involves more complex thinking than they are currently required to do in school in addition to the technical drills.

“If the attack comes from the one side, defender on that side attacks the ball. Where does the other defender go?”

“TO COVER THE HOLE!” (That’s what we call the open space in front of the goal.)

“Where does he watch?”


“And does he just stand there?”


“If the first defender gets beaten, does he chase the ball?”


I think it confuses parents of new kids when the first thing we do after warmups is to sit down and talk, but two championships in two seasons has proved that a team of players who think and are able to react to fluid situations will beat teams comprised of bigger, faster and better players almost every time. Two years ago, my starting defenders were six and seven and they made a grand total of three mistakes in back the entire season. I still miss those two….

Teaching can be exhausting and it is often frustrating, but it is not hard. And lest some cretin of limited brain capacity and mysteriously high self-regard point out that he was once educated by a teacher in southern Nebraska who was not a punk, thereby disproving everything I have ever written or will write in the future, I shall add, ala Scott Adams, BOCTAE.