Update: This post was originally created in May of 2019. Unfortunately, we have seen none of these changes. This is still what I want for Teacher Appreciation Week.
Tomorrow starts Teacher Appreciation Week! Some teachers will no doubt be taking advantage of everything from discounts at retail stores to free food at restaurants. Others will be inundated with gift cards to Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts and Target. Still others might receive a small, handwritten note or just verbal kindness that actually means more than anything that can be bought with money.
We do not become teachers for the gifts that we may or may not get this week. That being said, those gifts we might get are nice.
If we are being honest though, if someone wants to actually show their appreciation for teachers this week here’s a list of things that would do that, specifically in North Carolina:
- A government who actually supports my profession, not one that does a terrible job at hiding their hatred for it
- Enough school librarians, psychologists, social workers, counselors, nurses, and other health professionals to meet national standards
- A $15 minimum wage for all school personnel, 5% raise for all ESPs (non-certified staff), teachers, admin, and a 5% cost of living adjustment for retirees
- Expanding Medicaid to improve the health of our students and families
- Reinstating state retiree health benefits eliminated by the General Assembly in 2017
- Restoring advanced degree compensation stripped by the General Assembly in 2013
- Funding for smaller class sizes
- Funding for textbooks and/or technology such as chromebooks
- A renewed cap on charter school expansion which is draining money from our public schools and exacerbating segregation.
- Ending the grading of our public schools based on asinine test scores
- The end to high stakes standardized testing
- Funding to complete much needed maintenance on our aging buildings
- A salary that will allow educators to not need to work multiple jobs to support a family.
- Restorative practices that will help students stay in school instead of continuing the school to prison pipeline.
- Calendar flexibility that fits our local needs.
Is this everything? No, but it would be a good start.