|Letter to the Editor|
|Published Thursday, February 20, 2014|
Out with the old, in with the new
Change is inevitable. However, change should be for the betterment of all mankind; it should be reasonable and logical.
As an educator, I’ve witness and experienced firsthand what change has done within the infrastructure of this entity called education. Governor Pat McCrory added yet another insult to an already delicate body of unsung heroes and heroines when he announced that a pay raise will be granted to “new” teachers within their first five years of teaching. Such a statement is likening to that of cutting your nose off to spite your face, and later trying to figure out what went wrong.
Unfortunately, he, like many others within his circle of associates, doesn’t seem to care about the veteran teachers. If in fact he does not care about the veteran teachers, he doesn’t really care about the educational system in this state as a whole. One cannot function adequately without the other. The one constant variable in this educational arena is the veteran teachers.
Many veteran teachers are well seasoned and know their crafts very well. They became educators not so much because of the pay, but because it was something deeply rooted within them that inspired them to pursue a career that would be fulfilling and rewarding.
Does this mean they should be ignored and passed over, disrespected or disregarded by one of the highest paying officials in this state? Most certainly not. I can’t think of any other profession that has had such a direct impact on global society other than that of an educator.
I can recall the veteran teachers that helped to mold and shape me into the person that I am today. They did so with love, structure, and an affirmative approach that told me verbally and nonverbally that failing was not an option.
I can recall Helen Elliott, Winnie Leathers, Daphne Coward, Diane Judd and Percy Blount, just to name a few. They paved the way for many of us to become lifelong learners and productive citizens of this society.
Logic asks the question: “Does it make sense?” Illogical doesn’t want to know whether or not if it’s reasonable, and neither does it care about the message that is being sent. Mr. McCrory, I wonder how many of your teachers were first-year teachers, and if, in fact, whether or not you had veteran teachers? If so, did they really make a difference in your life?
There is no quick fix for this 21st century problem. It cannot and will not be resolved by ridding society of the veteran teachers, which seems to be the popular movement across this country. Education ought not ever be compromised in the manner of which is taking place today. How about trying to perfect that which we’ve already started and make adjustments that is conducive to all parties involved? But let us never forget the most important and vulnerable piece to this entity, which are the children.
Some years ago, a dear friend gave me a -shirt that read: “I did not choose the wrong profession, however, society must choose the right heroes, I teach because I care.”
Rita M. Bryant
Send this page to a friend