For the first time as far as I know, the School District I graduated from, Montrose Area Schools in Montrose, PA, is in the midst of a Teacher Strike. The Montrose Education Association (the teachers) are at odds with the School Board over health benefits and salaries. The teachers are willing to meet the School Board's request of changing and paying into their healthcare insurance, which will save the District $5000 a year per member. However, when the teachers asked for a raise, the School Board balked at this. You can read more about the Strike on MEA'a Facebook Page.
I'm here to say I stand with the Montrose Education Association and it's members.
I'm thankful for Montrose Education Association and it's members... without it, I wouldn't have had what I consider the best education I could have asked for. I knew if I was having a problem with a course, I could go to that teacher and get the help I needed. I could rely on any teacher to make sure I was safe at school.
I hear a LOT of Montrose's community members saying 'If teachers don't like their job, get a new one.' Here's the problems I see in that theory...
a. Most teachers don't major in education for the dollar. They major in it because they have a passion for helping others. Listen to a teacher talk about their students sometime. They don't refer to them as 'my charges' or 'my subordinates.' Every teacher I've heard calls them 'my kids.' They look at the students they teach as their own kids. Matter of fact, I've heard this right on my own Facebook newsfeed.
I won't give names, but there was one teacher in particular that went ABOVE and BEYOND their job description to make sure I had the BEST education at Montrose... and to this day, I'm very grateful to that teacher.
b. It's HARD for recent college graduates to find jobs, in their field or otherwise... imagine how tough it would be for someone who has taught for the past 15-20 years?
c. Almost every other job pays overtime when an employee works past 8 hours a day; Teachers do not. If a teacher stays after to tutor a student, they are DONATING their time. If a teacher chaperones a school dance/event, they are DONATING their time. They don't get paid for that time.
d. They may only 'work' 187 days of a calendar year, but they take a lot of their OWN time 'working.' Tests don't grade themselves. Lesson plans don't write themselves either. These things are done, at home, 'off the clock,' taking time away from their OWN families. Same goes with supplies; a LOT of a classroom's supply stock comes from the teacher's own checkbook.
I PROUDLY stand with the MEA.
I implore the Montrose Area School Board to work with MEA and come to a resolution that ALL sides are happy with. You are not hurting yourselves or the MEA members by not working with them to come to an agreement. You are hurting the very people you claim to care about: the students of Montrose Area School District.