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.
lack of funds
Everything I’ve been reading and hearing tells me that my situation is nothing new, but I thought I’d share.
We received our current textbooks in 2003 for the 2004 school year. Since that time, we’ve had two additional adoption periods, but were not allowed to adopt new texts because of the money involved. So, the books we have are now almost 11 years old.
As you can imagine, they are ragged, dirty, torn and falling apart, not to mention they keep disappearing. We looked into purchasing e-books, but they are only $10 less than the paper book, which costs $75, so that’s not really a cheaper alternative. Alright, it’s $10 less per book, but when you consider having to purchase more than 200 copies, $2,000 doesn’t make much difference. That’s not an argument you can use during a budget cut, “But, they’re only $13,000.”
The amount of paperwork that is expected of classroom teachers has increased exponentially each year. One night I stayed at school to get caught up until the evening custodian came around the last time (around 8pm). It was close to eight when I realized that I was nowhere close to being done, that in actuality I had an additional eight to ten hours of work remaining. Since that realization, I have determined to leave work at work and I have decided to leave school at a reasonable hour. Therefore, I am always behind, which is a source of stress, but, my family and friends deserve to have my attention when I am at home.
Sadly, I am counting down the days to my 20th anniversary as a teacher. If things do not drastically improve by then, NC will be losing another educator, and education will be losing another veteran teacher.