A four-year degree is a teacher’s ticket to a challenging, low-paying career.
She or he will be measured in many ways by the grades of a classroom full of adolescents on tests designed by someone who has never set foot in the school being tested.
Teachers are asked to put up with back-talking kids, parents who too often don’t care, reams of bureaucracy and a supply budget so small, they often must dip into their own pockets for amenities such as cleaning supplies and tissue paper.
We should all be grateful that so many of them continue to remain teachers anyway, with few complaints. The hearts of the good ones seem forever full of a passion for imparting the wisdom of the world to our children and to many more children to follow.
And yet, we beat on our educators regularly. We demand standardized testing. We rally for political leaders who say they’re going to hold teachers more accountable. We hold back pay raises, criticize their professional organizations and come up with snide little sayings about their relative worth, compared to “real” professions.
A new proposal from N.C. Sen. Phil Berger is called the Excellent Public Schools Act. In it, he proposes ending teaching tenure, replacing it instead with one-year contracts every North Carolina teacher would have to sweat on an annual basis.
Political leaders love to say they’re demanding excellence in North Carolina schools, but they seem to have little compassion for the front-line troops of the cause.
Perhaps we’d find more of the success stories we all want to see, if we showed a little more support for the ones who have to execute our grandiose plans.