21 Feb Standing Behind Our Teachers
Studies and students alike can agree on one abiding reality: teachers are the No. 1 influence on student achievement. A good teacher has the ability to inspire, gently guide young minds, nurture curiosity and impact students well beyond the walls of a classroom.
Unfortunately, however, many who have the ability to be good stewards of our children’s educations are either pursuing other lines of study or opting out of teaching entirely after very short exposure to the profession.
This shortage of teachers is being felt in every corner of the U.S., and we are no exception in Brevard County.
According to a recent report from the Guardian, “Schools are struggling to fill positions in science, special education and mathematics, and often have trouble keeping teachers because of low salaries, high student loans, and reduced budgets.”
In my conversations with educators, I have learned that low salary, peer and student respect, and planning time are among the top concerns – and this is consistently echoed across the country. Privatization is another concern, as massive dollars continue to flow out of our public schools and into unregulated charter organizations.
I believe we have a collective calling to help ensure that our children are receiving the best education that our tax dollars can afford. This means using the money we collect in prudent and thoughtful ways, but it also means we have a duty to ensure that the people we employ as our children’s educators are appropriately (and well) paid for their efforts, education and time.
We are so fortunate to have gifted, professional teachers here in Brevard that are willing to work hard for our children. In order to keep them here, in their jobs, we need to support and meet their needs for better salary, improved work conditions and student loan forgiveness.
So, I’m asking kindly of you to please take five minutes to reach out to your state officials to encourage them to make public education and teacher salary a number one priority. This is one way we can all let our voices come together, in harmony, for all the teachers in Brevard – and the students they are impacting. You can call, email or note your concerns on their social media feeds. See your list of legislators here >>
Cheryl McDougall, a retired school social worker, was elected District 2 representative for Brevard County Schools in November, 2018. For more information, visit online here >>