The following is a submission from an educator as part of the Your Soapbox feature, which explores the experiences of educators in North Carolina through their own words. Check out more first person stories here, or if you are an educator, submit your own.
As a young woman in my twenties born in North Carolina, graduate of a UNC school and current teacher in a North Carolina public school, I am frustrated with the current state of education.
In high school, I applied for the NC Teaching Fellows scholarship and was awarded the scholarship. I was optimistic about giving back to my state by being an excellent teacher. I completed my duties to the state and taught for four years. I decided to get my master’s degree so that I can make money while in the classroom.
To my discontent, I have made the same amount of money since the 2008-09 school year. It cost more money to run and operate a school now than it did when I first started on my teacher’s salary.
I have always known that I wanted to be a teacher and help children. I am now considering leaving since my pay will not change much even with a master’s degree from another NC public university. My efforts feel in vain because of lack of support. Something needs to change!!
-Jessica Smith, Seventh Grade Science Teacher, Winston Salem Forsyth County Schools, NC Teaching Fellow Graduate