RedForEdNC is about more than pay

To the Editor,

RedForEdNC is about more than pay. Do I get paid 12 months out of the year? Yes. Do I get paid for 12 months out of the year? No. I get paid for 10 months that I work, divided by 12 months that I get a check. If I quit, that money would be owed to me because I already made it. In the summer I attend workshops to earn credit hours because I have to renew my license. Workshops that I’m not paid for.

Did I know the money when I signed up for the job? Sure. But the title of teacher includes many roles that I am not trained in — from a counselor to a nurse to a referee daily. I deal with students who think they are entitled to whatever they want, whenever they want. But I will also step in front of a bullet and shield that same child.

I don’t go in at 7:15 and leave at 3:15 every day. At 3:15 the kids are gone and I have game duty or lesson planning because during my planning period, I was in a PLC meeting or addressing a student issue. I don’t leave my job every day and pick it back up when I clock in the next morning. My job follows me everywhere.

I take money out of my pocket to provide candy and prizes as rewards. I buy instructional materials to teach in the most engaging way possible because. I make sure they know that no matter how much pressure is put on them about a test, no test can measure the amount of character they exude. And when they feel like a failure, I assure them they did their best, and that is all we can ask of them ever.

I teach classrooms of close to 30 and I am expected to have them all on grade level by June. These levels are measured by a standardized test for which I am asked to differentiate my instruction. Find the deficiency in each student and teach to that, no matter if all of my students are deficient in a different area. I am not provided with adequate resources needed to do this job well. The state wants me to teach Common Core standards, but does not afford me with what I need to make this happen.

Candace Walker