Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

STRIKE: What it means to be a teacher

Letter by Christel M. Elliott, Tacoma on Sep. 21, 2011 at 11:12 am | 22 Comments »
September 21, 2011 2:16 pm

Being a teacher means bearing college debt that far exceeds my salary. Some days I work more than double the hours I am paid to work. I invest hundreds of my own dollars to buy supplies/materials for my students each year.

I feed my students. I counsel them when they are suffering and in need of guidance. I instill values and respect in them. I try to help them meet standard in all areas, despite the fact that I am working against 11 to 13 years of unimaginable issues they walk in with.

I try to replace their own ideas that they are inadequate, stupid, “slow,” worthless, retarded and “bad” with beliefs that they are smart, worthy, respectable, beautiful, and responsible people who will do anything they want in life. I try to steer my students onto the right path so they don’t drop out of school and so they can go to college.

I build relationships with families and teams of people who support my students. I do more and more each day and am paid less and less to do it. I never stop giving, and I do it for my kids, not for people who stand at a distance and throw stones.

This situation takes an incredible toll on all of us. It is painful to work so incredibly hard for kids and then have people bash you, flip you off and treat you like you are beneath them. What is wrong with people? Poor education?

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