Slice of Life 2013

One & Done

on June 20, 2017


We lost another good one.

Last night I received a text message from a young colleague of mine. “Well, it’s official…I got the job…bittersweet.”

I knew it was coming, but it still hurt to think that this great teacher would be leaving us after only one year in the classroom. He felt that he simply could not live on a teacher’s salary without having to sacrifice too much, or having to work at least two jobs, and constantly doing without.

He was offered an entry-level job with a tech company making close to $15,000 more than he makes now as a teacher. As the North Carolina legislature quibbles over whether to fund raises for teachers (again) this year, whatever they end up deciding won’t be able to compete with what the business world is offering. When we think about attracting millennials to the profession, we can’t compete with the outside world.

I can’t say I blame him. If I were him at the start of my career, I don’t know that I would choose to continue to teach, at least not in North Carolina. This state has made it perfectly clear (through its education budgets and policies) that it does not value me, my teaching colleagues, or the students it is charged with educating.

I know my friend is sad to be leaving the classroom, as he formed great relationships with students and staff this past year. He will definitely be missed.

What about those of us who are left behind, especially the veteran teachers who serve as mentors to these new teachers? I can’t speak for others but I am seriously wondering why I should continue to mentor teachers if they aren’t going to stay.

Money won’t solve all of the problems we face in public education, but it sure could solve this one. Paying teachers a respectable professional wage could go a long way in convincing those who are new to the profession to stay.





3 responses to “One & Done

  1. And unfortunately, I see this trend continue to take good teachers out of the classroom. Here in Iowa, the Republican controlled legislature, along with the Republican governor, gutting the public sectors collective bargaining code, and we’ve all ready heard of teachers leaving to Minnesota. Until there’s a rising up of those in education, parents, grandparents, and those who care, this devaluation of our career will only continue.

    Thank you for sobering slice. I’m going to do some writing to my state legislators, again! 🙂

    • gstevens1021 says:

      Yes, unfortunately this is happening all over the country. We had a head start in NC a few years back, but the attacks on public education are nationwide now. I guess we must keep speaking up and hope that one day someone will listen.

  2. Sonja Schulz says:

    I just hate it—same stuff happening here in Texas, too. I don’t know what else to do but to keep on keeping on.

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