help! i need somebody, help!

so there’s this website for teachers called donorschoose.org — it’s a site where teachers can request donations for items that they may want or need in their classroom. any teacher can do this in any district in the united states, and it’s a pretty neat site if you asked me.

i was in class earlier and i was perusing the website and noticed that north carolina has more donor requests than any other state.

north carolina has over 1500 requests, with 369 coming from the charlotte-mecklenburg school district. that’s more than 20 times what is needed in the chapel hill-carrboro city school district where i’m currently teaching. it’s 24 times greater, to be exact.

this just blows my mind.

there are plenty of articles that talk about how teachers don’t get paid much and how resources are being cut (see this new york times article from april or this huffington post article from last month), but what about everything going on statewide? north carolina is the seventh state with the lowest-paying teacher salary, averaging at $46,850 — the best paying state, new york, pays teachers an average $72,708 (source).

no wonder north carolina has the highest number of requests for supplies and materials on donorschoose.org.

there’s quite a discrepancy between new york and north carolina, so what are we supposed to do? i know i’m not going into the teaching profession for the money, but how am i supposed to support myself? and what about a family whenever the time comes?

i am such an advocate for higher teacher pay, and not just because i’m going to be a teacher. teachers have so much more work to do than people think — i am personally figuring this out firsthand in my student teaching placement. there is more planning, there are more meetings, and there is more riding on their job than most — teachers are responsible for educating children, the future of our nation, so that they can make this place better than we left it. we need skilled teachers who are going to dedicate themselves to this taxing (yet extremely rewarding) profession, but how are we going to recruit people to do this when there isn’t much monetary incentive for them to do so?

teachers in the united states spend more hours in the classroom and working in their schools than most other countries, yet we still get paid less than most all countries (source).

i know all of this doesn’t make the teaching profession seem the most appealing, but this is reality — this is what’s happening in our nation with education and it needs to be known. the job isn’t easy, but the benefits of teaching are unmatched in my opinion.

i never knew how happy i could be until after i taught my first lesson and checked through math journals and saw kids doing problems the way i taught them, with written algorithms and lined up decimals and proper equations. there’s this inexplicable feeling of the most genuine joy i have ever felt as a student tells you that your math lesson was his favorite part of the day. there is absolutely nothing better in this whole world than helping a child.

that being said, i think it’d be nice (and probably a good idea) to help the people helping your children so that they can be the ultimate best they can be.

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