Where are our Values?

How many of us remember the teachers we had in our elementary years? Were they the people who fostered your love of reading, coloring, exercise, art and math? Mine were. I go back to my kindergarten days and remember Mrs. Wray, my first teacher and a nice lady. I remember the letter people she had that helped me learn my alphabet. I recall making a turkey placemat out of my handprints for a Thanksgiving holiday. Overall, she was someone who jump-started my love of learning.

Moving on through the elementary years, I was blessed with many other good teachers.  They taught me to love reading. And while I’m not all that excited about math now, I remember being excited to learn it 25 years ago!

As a grown-up, I’ve always paid attention to issues in  my school district. But I didn’t start getting really concerned until my oldest daughter entered kindergarten this year. She has had a great teacher and has excelled in her classwork. She love to read, draw, run and sing in music class. Overall, she’s had a great year, much of which I owe to her teacher.

So imagine my surprise when I read in my local paper that our school was undergoing a RIF, a reduction in force, for next school year. And I was even more surprised when one of the teachers RIFed was my daughter’s kindergarten teacher.

I am outraged. The school is talking about going to bigger class sizes in order to save money on teacher salaries. I understand the entire education system is experiencing cuts, but what I can’t understand is why we have to cut teachers?

Why are we living in a society where we will pay actors and sports stars millions and millions of dollars, but we can’t afford to pay our teachers a decent salary? Where are our values? Is it really more important to watch the latest feature film or football game and pad the pockets of a bunch of overpaid people? Or rather should we start paying the people who are shaping the lives of our future leaders?

I don’t understand the importance this society places on fame. Famous people mean nothing to me. I don’t watch television, haven’t seen a current movie in years and rarely attend a national sporting event. I would rather place kindergarten teachers on a pedestal than a football player any day. The teacher will help determine the future of this country, not someone who can throw a ball.


  1. That is so frustrating! I too get very frustrated in the value placed on sports and entertainment–especially at the expense of more important things!

  2. Oh man, don’t get me started on this! I am a teacher, and I feel exactly the same way. It’s just ridiculous! One of my friends was complaining about the small raise that the military is getting this year. The average compensation for military quoted in the article she referenced were almost TWICE what I make as a teacher and more than what any of the teachers in my district make! AND, I have my BA plus about 15 grad credits, and took a pay CUT this year in order to save some jobs in our district.

    Education is VERY important, and we need parents like you helping us out, too.

    By the way, I came over from Beyer Beware! And I’m going to follow. I’m also a farm wife. 🙂

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