Yaaaaaaaaawn. It’s 8am Tuesday morning and my kids are still in bed. When they should really be sat behind their desks learning, amongst other things, the intricacies of the Danish comma! What’s up? Well, we’re now into the second week of the LockOut of Danish teachers. Local government want to change teachers’ working hours (well, actually, the ratio of class prep vs. time spent teaching students). The teachers unions are basically in disagreement, and talks broke down. Local government want to push through the changes and have therefore ‘locked out’ the teachers – i.e. they are not allowed to come in to teach. And they aren’t being paid. And why doesn’t the Danish government intervene? Well, this is the so-called “Danish model”. Employers and employees negotiating their own collective agreements without state interference.
So just what are our teachers up to, now that they don’t have any classes to prepare or students to teach?
My kids teachers have been demonstrating in front of the school and at the major traffic hubs during rush hours. Motorists were encouraged to peep their horns if they were in agreement with the teachers. And cyclists and pedestrians weren’t forgotten either…the teachers had taken coloured chalks and written messages on the pavements and the cycle paths!
The Danish teachers have a website http://lockouten.dk/ where you can see all their “Lockout” events and happenings. At 12 noon today they performed Denmark’s largest ever flash mob at Town Hall Square in the centre of Copenhagen. Unfortunately that particular video isn’t up yet on youtube (keep looking – meanwhile you can see it on http://politiken.dk/poltv/nyheder/indland/ECE1941612/danmarks-stoerste-flashmob-se-laererne-smide-tusinder-af-boeger-paa-jorden/) so instead here are some teachers doing the LockOut Harlem Shake. As they say themselves, they would really much rather be…teaching!
Have a wonderful Wednesday. School or no school!