Unfortunately, the NC General Assembly has sent a different message to public school teachers recently. They have eliminated teaching assistants, increased class sizes, cut master's pay, and forced teachers to go yet another year without a pay raise. Their actions have sent a message that is quite contrary to the message our parents sent today: Teachers are not valued; we are not appreciated; we are not supported.
The General Assembly's message is certainly making teachers frustrated, discouraged, and angry. But our PTA's actions today gave a little glimpse of hope into an otherwise discouraging time for teachers. I am fortunate to work at a school with unconditional support from administrators and parents. It is easy for us to come to school and know without a doubt that we are valued. However, it is still becoming more and more difficult to be a teacher. We have more demands, more responsibilities, more things to learn, and more students to teach. It is becoming harder and harder to do a good job. We are tired and we can't get caught up. These are the things we need our state's leaders to know. We need them to walk a day in our shoes. We need them to see that we are desperate for their support. We need them to understand that without their support, we can't do our best.
How I wish members of the General Assembly were at our school today. How I wish they could feel what we felt as we saw parents and students supporting us. How I wish and how I hope that a day like today is the beginning of a change for public education in North Carolina.