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The Time of the Teachers
By Harper Henry
Nearly two and a half weeks ago West Virginian teachers took up shop at the West Virginian capitol to vocalize their opinions about their income.
"'Walking Out' from my teaching job in order to strike with my fellow WV teachers was an easy decision to make because it wasn’t a “me” step to take; it was a “we” movement that was necessary to get involved in." This is what West Virginian teacher, Ramsey Carpenter had to say when asked about her reason behind joining the strike. It has become reality for many Americans that teachers are severely underpaid for their skillset. Some as stated by Ramsey are paid below the poverty level which, believe it or not, is lower than the salary of a Bingo Manager. An increase in pay and health care support was required by the teachers in order to return to work.
Many stereotype teachers as “those who can’t ‘do’, teach”, stated by Ramsey, which molds their jobs in glorified babysitters when in reality that is simply not the case. Ramsey made it clear that unlike parents or other guardians, teachers see students more throughout the average day thus having a major part in development and educational resources. That sounds like more than just babysitting. While West Virginian teachers stand for respect, other states are yet to vocalize as a group. However, Ramsey made a point that the strikes promoted inspiration among some state school systems.
Students, including myself, and teachers at my school were fairly shocked to see such an uprising come from the staff of the West Virginian school systems. It was thought that such vocalization would cause decrease in salary, and/or unemployment, however, it has brought inspiration to teachers across the nation to finally stand for their rights. As advice to students and to teachers Ramsey states that being confident is only the first step to success, but with it can unlock an unlimited realm of possibilities. It may lead to failure at first, but the strong only ever grew stronger by learning. Take the risk. Stand for you. Make your voice heard.
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