We are settling into the school year.
As each year comes, it gets easier and easier to adapt to the schedule and sharing my children with others, especially their teachers. I know this sounds very possessive, but at one time, it was incredibly hard to watch my boys board the school bus. Knowing that I was not going to be there to watch over them, comfort and scold them when needed. Especially since I was a constant in their formative years, working my work schedule around theirs. I was home when they were awake, and working while they were sleeping.
The most important people that have entered into my childrens’ lives (besides myself) are their teachers.
Teachers come in all different shapes and sizes, and I do not mean that physically. There are gentle teachers, firm teachers, empathetic teachers, bold teachers, quiet teachers, sporty teachers and many others and combinations. Much like our individual personalities, their teaching methods vary, each offering a different value for our children. As hard as it was to let them go, I learned that leaning on their teachers was what we needed the most.
Being a teacher, is a selfless profession.
They are working day in and day to influence children in both an emotional and knowledge based capacity. Their jobs do not end when they leave the school. They are working into the wee hours of the morning grading papers and setting up lesson plans. Often times missing out on quality time with their own family. More often that I would like to admit, these teachers are the only positive role model in some children’s lives. Everyone always remembers their favorite teacher. The teacher that made an amazing impact on their lives and no one can take that away from them. I had a couple favorite teachers in school Kathy Doll, T. Perry Engard and Matt Haines, to call out a few. They had a positive influence on my life and I will forever be grateful. In addition, most teachers use their own personal funds to provide for their classrooms and their students. These people pour their hearts and souls into their work and it shows when their students thrive.
As I am becoming an adult (because there is NO way that I am one of those yet) I realize how many occupations that are “for the people” are taken for granted. My mother was in Social Work her whole life. Her salary and perks were not indicative of all the hard work she would put in day after day. I am recognizing that teachers are somewhat taken for granted.
Every school year there is news of a Teacher’s Strike.
These people work tirelessly to have a huge impact on the community and are not being fairly compensated. Whether it is a monetary value, a matter of benefits or days off, student teacher ratio, or class size, the teachers deserve to be fairly compensated. Especially when their job is to influence my children and their peers.
In my area, Methacton School District is currently on strike. They have been negotiating a contract since January, and working with no contract since June 30th.
According to an inside source:
Here’s what it boils down to… after decades of frivolous spending, mismanagement, and neglect Methacton is in a financial crisis. Their buildings need major repairs. The teachers want a raise. The district can’t afford both. Basically the district is now in a no win situation, either they allocate funds for the teachers or restore the buildings. Either option looks grim. It seems if they agree to meet the teachers demands they will end up having to close another school in the upcoming years. If they do not meet the teachers demands, the teachers are left with sub par salaries and benefits.
MEA has offered an increase in healthcare contributions in each year in conjunction with a salary schedule that we feel is both fair and pragmatic. Additionally, MEA has accommodated the Board’s need for substantial changes in contract language regarding work day, work year, teacher assignment, teacher preparation time, and High School and Middle School Scheduling.
MEA remains hopeful that negotiations will resume and per State Mediator request have prepared a new comprehensive proposal. MEA’s goal is to settle with a fair contract and return teachers and students to the classroom as soon as possible.
As I watch the news unfold and the days go by that the children are out of school, I hope that the Board will come to an agreement and offer the teachers what they deserve. Also, hold the persons accountable for the neglect and mismanagement. This is one area that should be held of the utmost importance at all times.
Give a shout out to your favorite teachers below! Make sure to share this post, click on the social media images and get the word out that TEACHERS DESERVE MORE!!
**** As I was publishing this article, the District page read:
Dear Methacton Community,
As of 6 PM on September 20, 2017, the Methacton Education Association and the Methacton Board of Education have mutually agreed to enter into non-binding arbitration. This means that the work stoppage has ended and students will return to school as per the school calendar beginning Friday September 22, 2017.
Diana Kernop and Amy Brier, MEA Co-Presidents
Dr. David Zerbe, Superintendent