Thursday, June 9, 2016

My Wife is a Teacher, A Very Good Teacher
By: The husband of BAT Cathy Drew Benjamin

My husband of 41 years (a non-educator) posted this to his Facebook, as our local association begins to feel the wrath of an unkind BOE during failed/failing contract negotiations (~gulp! 25%increase in health care contribution! - among other issues). I love my family. They "get" it.
One of my heroes was Andy Rooney. I decided to write this in his style:

My wife is a teacher.

She goes to work before me and works an 11 hour day.
She takes so much pride in her job and her students.
Their successes and failures belong to her.
She knows because they come back years later to tell her and say thank you.
If she didn’t spend her own money on supplies her students would go without.
The Board of Education doesn’t supply enough. Sometimes she doesn’t even have textbooks.
The State stole some of her retirement money so they wouldn’t have to raise taxes.
It was never paid back. Now the state wants her to pay back the money they stole!
Isn’t that a little crazy? I guess the state thought so because they passed a law that said they would pay it back.
Well, the state broke that law too and now they still want my wife to pay back what they stole.
She never made a lot of money considering all the education she has.
She likes her job. It was never about the money or even benefits.
It was always implied “We’ll give you a decent retirement and good benefits instead of a big paycheck.”
Well, she gets all that but now has to pay for part of them herself. It is a lot of money.
Some of her students are now doctors, lawyers, engineers, and many are successful in their own right.
Some didn’t make it. Some are in jail. She cries about them frequently and wonders if she failed…
Though many wanted to be, none of her students are basketball stars. One might make the Olympics.
My wife raised four kids and they all went through the same school system where she teaches.
They are all doing great. They prepared well for life.
My wife gives much more of her time than she gets paid to give.
She can go home at 2:25 but usually stays until well past 6PM. Dinner is always late at our house.
On some evenings she will wolf down dinner and go back to be with her students at one of their dances.
She doesn’t get paid for the dances and no one ever says “Thank You”.
She doesn’t have to go. She wants to go and be part of their lives.
My wife drives out of town to go grocery shopping. It isn’t because she doesn’t like the stores in town.
For her, a 30 minute shopping trip takes two hours. While shopping she sees students and their parents.
Can you imagine a parent-teacher conference in Shop-Rite? I can! How long can you look at the tomatoes?
My wife loves her job. She has been working without a contract for awhile and still moves forward.
The Board of Education thinks she should give them more of her time without pay.
She already has to give them 15-20 hours a week to get everything done they want. Is this legal?
The student that aces her science class may one day be a doctor saving lives. She doesn’t want to stop teaching.
My wife is not a surrogate parent for your child. She is a teacher.
She chaperones, but she does it because she wants your child to know she is there for them.
My wife is s teacher, a very good teacher. I watch her cry when an old student sees her and says “Thank you?.
My wife and her colleagues have been working without a contract for over a year.
Even if they could, they won’t strike. The teachers wouldn’t do that to their students.
Instead, they might just do only what they are getting paid to do and nothing else.
All those reports she does on the weekends won’t get done.
She doesn’t get much time during the day to do her extra work.
If it isn’t done by 2:25, it might not get done either. 

Wake up people! No one wants this except your board of education.
They ran to make things better. I sure wish someone else would run! They’ll probably win!

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