West Virginia’s public schools, and the teachers who fill their halls, continue to fight an uphill battle to prove their worth to state legislators. The problem is that the loyalty of those legislators seems to be more to the folks funding their campaigns than to the schools that teach children in their districts.
But our teachers and schools do so much more than teach. They keep our kids safe and help teach them the values that help them grow into responsible adults.
Sonya Ashby, a Wood County teacher, wrote to the Charleston Gazette-Mail to list some of the things she’d done in her years as a teacher that go far beyond her job description. Here are a few of the highlights:
- Fed and clothed kids out of her own pocket.
- Provided her own supplies and resources to the tune of roughly $3,000 over 18 years.
- Put out a fire in a classroom trash can.
- Disarmed a 5-year-old who had a switchblade to another student’s throat.
- Physically has broken up more than 30 fist fights.
- Held a child and let them cry when their father died.
- Held classrooms together when they were reeling from the death of a classmate.
- Visited students in the hospital.
- Held back the tears while witnessing a circle of six students comforting their classmate who had just lost their mother to a drug overdose—because they had been through it, too.
As you can see there’s a lot more to being a West Virginia teacher than standing at a blackboard.
The legislature should stop holding their pay raises hostage to push the agendas of out-of-state interests.