Thursday, May 1, 2008

Count Down to What

We are getting ready to begin "Teacher Appreciation Week" at the end of another school year here in the CNMI. We have all worked extremely hard this year, with very, very few acknowledgements for that work, by the administration, the board, parents, students or the public (not that any are really expected-but would be nice).

Most people (not teachers) do not understand how much time really goes into teaching outside of the 7:30 to 3:30 time frame. We, as highly qualified teachers (HQT), must put in anywhere from two to ten hours for any one lesson. For each lesson, we must find resources (to supplement the cirriculum); put together a lesson plan; make copies or activities for students (individually or for groups); we must make charts (as reminders for students); and/or we must cooridinate field trips or guest speakers with the principal, other staff members, the cafeteria or caterer, bus transportation, the parents and students (again to supplement the cirriculum), just to name a few. All of this must be accomplished on top of the teaching day and, also, on top of any additional duties that are assigned by the respective principal. Usually, there are a number of theses!

We, as HQT educators, put in all this time and effort, for what? We are continually losing - pay, time, funding, supplies, and support in all ways, from all directions such as, the board, principals, parents, students and the public. It would be helpful if more teachers felt that all their hard work is needed and appreciated. Then, we as HQT educators could continue to endure low pay; lack of airconditioning in poorly constructed or poorly sealed rooms; no supplies and rooms over-filled with students and moldy termite infested books and other inconviences.

We HQT educators go through all these things for our students. We realize that they are the future and we are continuing to try to "stick it out" for them. It's just that acknowledgement of enduring would be appreciated.

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