Superb teachers leave NC and the best students are told to avoid the profession

6 Comment(s) | Posted |

As North Carolina is losing our best and brightest teachers, students are being told to reconsider pursuing a career in teaching. Matt Buys, a member of the Asheville City Board of Education, admits his reservations about his own son pursuing a teaching career after witnessing the damaged caused by the best teachers leaving his county.

From the News & Observer,

My son wants to teach high school history. He chose his college based on its education program. “Why not be a monk instead?” I asked him. “You’ll make more money.”

When his favorite teacher, a former Army Ranger who teaches U.S. government, learned my son was pursuing education, he smiled but retorted, “Teaching is an honorable profession, but I would advise him to think carefully about his decision.”

He didn’t extrapolate and didn’t need to. I am on a school board. Federal, state and even our local board policies have been tough on teachers lately. Micromanagement and low salaries are turning good people away from the teaching profession.

My favorite duty has been attending the Teacher of the Year banquet. Two years ago I presented an iPad, courtesy of a local bank, to a joyfully teary kindergarten teacher, and the year before that the iPad went to a hardworking marching band director. The band director said he was grateful to have a wife who supported him and his two children even when it involved missing dinner and getting home late at night for months on end. He walked back to his table and presented his wife with the iPad.

Know where those district Teachers of the Year are now? Gone.

The band director moved to South Carolina; the young elementary school star quit teaching. These teachers had the gift. They were humble, awe-inspiring people. The kindergarten teacher was known for taming even the wildest, toughest kids with love and hugs. The band director changed the course of hundreds of lives, among them my own son’s life. These are the teachers we are losing, and it’s happening on a statewide level.

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  1. Shirley Simpson's avatar
    Shirley Simpson
    | Permalink
    Thanks for stating so well what concerns all of NC educators. I am a retired educator and I would not advise anyone to go into teaching until things change.
  2. Joan Maki's avatar
    Joan Maki
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    Raleigh is being very short-sighted and seeing only what is immediately in front of their noses. If we don't turn this around in this election, I truly think that education in NC will be beyond redeeming in the foreseeable future. In my 34 years as an educator, I saw too many things come and go. The most important element in a child's academic career is the teacher in the classroom. We are losing generation of good teachers and good schools by micromanaging and outright destruction.
  3. Miriam's avatar
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    Philadelphia is experiencing the same thing. I completely agree with Joan (above).
  4. JP De Oliveira's avatar
    JP De Oliveira
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    Educators are fed up! School district have adopted the business model to deal with teachers except educators receive none of the benefits of working for a private company. I would too advise anyone seeking to pursue becoming a teacher to think carefully. I wish someone had told me that twenty some years ago.
  5. Alex's avatar
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    We need our State Congress to do something about this. This is happening everywhere. The year after I graduated high school in Forsyth County, the high school I attended lost around 20% of it's teaching staff. Many of those teachers were counted among the best of the staff. So many of these wonderful professionals were favorites of the students. This can not continue happening or catastrophic consequences will occur. Not today, but in 10 or 20 years the effects will be prominent. Education isn't about the short term, it's about long term benefits or consequences. We need our representatives to understand this and take action.
  6. Grace Michael's avatar
    Grace Michael
    | Permalink
    I came from SC to teach here this year, as a 17 year veterean. My choice to come here was because I was already living in NC and have young children, and wanted to be closer to home. Not only did I take a pay cut, but I am still waiting, here in NOVEMBER, for the state to process my license and add my experience. As a result I am being paid as a first year teacher.My saving are dwindling as a result. How about that for a slap in the face?
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