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Education

#TeachingInNC: 'Veteran teachers feel like the service that they put in isn't valued.'

Bill McDiarmid
UNC School of Education
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One of the things that struck me was how rewarding teachers continue to find their careers despite the environment they are in. Many teachers don't feel valued or respected. While there are good aspects to the [recent] pay raise for early career teachers, more veteran teachers feel like the service that they put in isn't valued.

And yet if you look at the comments (in #TeachingInNC) you see how committed, enthusiastic and creative these folks remain.

It breaks my heart to see the way people are talked about by folks who don't fully understand what the job entails.

I don't think people understand truly what life is like for a teacher unless they are one themselves, or they live with a teacher. I don't think most people appreciate how hard teachers work. People say "Oh they get three months off in the summer ." 

One of the [contributors to the project] talked about spending five hours reading and editing rough drafts of essays, and let me tell you, that's not unusual. A teacher's day is likely 7 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and then there is family time and time for dinner,  but after dinner they are grading and planning. And over the weekend, you're trying to catch up on grading and then planning for the coming week.

So, no, I am not really surprised at what (#TeachingInNC) revealed. One of the things that jumps out at you though is how truly and creative and innovative our teachers are.

One comment that was a part of the project really stuck with me because of its truth: "I've never heard of a teacher who left because of the kids. It's not the kids."

I know these people, they're my tribe. They place seriously the trust parents and communities place in them to help.

It breaks my heart to see the way people are talked about by folks who don't fully understand what the job entails.

Bill McDiarmid is the Dean of UNC's School of Education. He talked by phone with WUNC's Carol Jackson.

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