Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Presidential Debates... Round Two

Dear Dialog,

I am watching round two of the Presidential Debates tonight and I have to make this statement regarding comments made on Education..

-Half of the members in my cohort from my graduate program were unable to obtain teaching jobs because of the lack of job availability in Oregon. Oregon has a surplus of teachers and too few jobs due to budget cuts... 

-I know it is simple, but this year I have paid over $1,200 for supplies for my classroom out of my own pocket... While I am able to write these items off on my taxes, I will only receive around $150 of that $1200 back!!!

-Fund our schools properly. Pay teachers a livable salary to attract the most experienced and successful teachers to the field. I, with a Masters degree, make 50% of what I could make in a non-education job with a masters degree. I currently owe almost $50,000 in student loans in a job where after maybe teaching 10-15 years, will I make that. 

-For those who believe that I get summers off... well I do... But it is spent working a second or third job or attending college classes that I have to pay for in order to keep my teaching license.

-We as a nation for the last 80 years, have had an educational system that puts kids through the motions and then spits them out. Now, all of a sudden, we to make an absurd amount of changes required by NCLB or No Child Left Behind with our current funds and if we don't meet those changes or requirements, instead of helping us meet those, they take our funding away... This creates a horrible Catch 22 which is crippling the education system. Teachers are no longer teaching for the love their subjects. But instead, to the test to ensure that they have their jobs the following year. Their job is tied to their students standardized test scores... This is a huge mistake

-We have lawmakers, who have never spent any time in the classroom, dictating the way our schools are run. They tell us how to do our jobs. Telling us... Telling us to do everything wrong when we as teachers, know what we do is right. They do not have to manage 30-40 kids at a time. They do not have to attend IEP Meetings before school, during lunch or after school. They do not have to pay for supplies out of their own pocket. 

So here is my message to you... Until you lawmakers, spend one year in my classroom; teach the classes I teach; grade the assignments; create interactive lessons to keep students engaged; pay for supplies out of your own pocket; be paid a salary comparable to a high school graduate instead of a person who has a masters... 
Do not tell me what to do.

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