As an NC educator I feel demoralized and under appreciated. Rather than being thanked and rewarded for my decision to attain my master’s degree I was told by a county commissioner last week that masters degrees are unnecessary in our profession and that you can do the job without it. I agree that the job can be done without a masters degree but continuous education should be encouraged and teachers with masters degrees are who I want teaching my children. After all, if I am going to have a surgical procedure I want the doctor with the most up-to-date information regarding my surgery rather than a doctor who does not have the most cutting edge information.
I am appalled that our legislature has taken away due process through the loss of tenure. I was told by this same commissioner that I should just give up on hoping for tenure to be reinstated as it is a lost cause. I am insulted at the fact Tillis, Berger and Brock (in addition to others) only want to give 25% of us a raise. If I went to a doctor and they told me I had a 25% chance of survival I would get my will in order. If there are only a few bad teachers then why only give 25% of us a raise? Why isn’t that number 80% or 90%? Perhaps because they want the charter schools to come in and destroy our education system just like they did in Pennsylvania?
I am tired of hearing that NC does not have money to pay its teachers when McCrory has $230000 to update his bathroom, when my family and I have more than outgrown our tiny house. I am tired of hearing about NC paying for medical bills, yet we have a yacht tax credit. When I had to purchase another vehicle for my growing family I paid tax. Funds are not appropriately allocated.
I am also upset to see that my entire central office were able to get a raise but I am not. I know this is more of a county issue but it is still very discouraging, and it seems to be a way of keeping the higher ups happy enough to silence their teachers.
I am also tired of not being able to take my child to the doctor. I am a hardworking teacher, and my health insurance is so bad that when my children are sick I have to debate if that 105-degree fever is bad enough to pay a $30 to $70 copay. The $250 plus 20% emergency room bill is right out of the question unless someone is dying.
With respect, tenure, better health care and higher salaries in other states, I am not surprised to hear almost every educator I encounter attempting to find a way out of this state. Instead of being treated as educators, we are treated as if we were babysitters.
At the walk-in I told parents of my supply needs. Several told me to just let them know what I needed. I did. I said that I need colored pencils, construction paper and poster board. That was a week ago and no one has yet stepped up.
I coupon, groupon, share and haggle to make ends meet. Thankfully I have no credit card debt but that is because my family does without. I did have to purchase shoes for my children last month as they had out grown the ones they had. I bought two pairs of $15 shoes at an outlet store and I hoped that at the end of the month my checkbook would balance.
I feel bad for teachers who came in after me. I shared some old Christmas lights with another teacher in order to add some cheer to the holidays as I couldn’t see spending the $3 to $6 to purchase something that was not groceries or medical services.
Thankfully, my students see that I love them, and I am willing to fight for them. For now.