Unappreciative Districts Are Hurting Students Education


Robert John Meehan

With rising levels of teacher shortages due to burnouts, Robert John Meehan composed a positive graphic of ways to stay positive during complicated times.

Kaelin Collar, Editor-in-Chief

With recent returns to in-person learning after the holiday break, the rise in Coronavirus cases is significantly increased, ultimately causing teacher and staff shortages from illness and other personal issues. However, current district decisions have speculated staff members going on strike within the Gresham-Barlow School District within these next couple of months. Hundreds of frustrated teachers have communicated their grievances towards the local district’s Board of Education regarding current teacher contracts.

Children carry what they are taught at a young age throughout the rest of their lives and use what they have learned to influence society. Today’s youth will become tomorrow’s leaders, and teachers have access to educate the youth in their most impressionable years — whether in teaching any level of education, extracurriculars, or sports. Teachers hold the ability to shape future leaders in the best way for society to build positive and inspiring generations, therefore essentially designing community. In reality, teachers arguably have the most critical job. 

“Teaching was always something I wanted to do. It was simply the only thing that felt right when college decisions were the main focus in high school. Although I didn’t know why I wanted to teach, I always liked the thought of helping students and seeing that moment on their faces when the material made sense. I teach to bring a different perspective and atmosphere to the classroom. Ironically, I always hated school when I was growing up, but that’s genuinely how the universe works. I teach to bring a different environment into the classroom to hopefully get students excited about learning,” mentions an Anonymous staff member.

Arguably, educators teach to make a difference. As role models and the foundation of education, teachers chose to teach to help students feel excited to learn, understand complex concepts, and create a safe bond relationship in the classroom. However, when the occupation chosen begins to feel unappreciated, overworked, and underpaid, the original desire of loving what you do for a living starts to fade.

“It honestly feels like teachers are underappreciated. We put countless hours into our lesson plans, curriculum, grading, and devotion to our students. As educators, we follow the district guidelines required for our curriculum even if we don’t agree or believe it’s outdated. Knowing there is a chance we would lose deserved time for our plan or use our free time to better our school community for the students, it just feels thoughtless after all we do for our district and defines why most schools are understaffed,” explains another Anonymous staff member.

With recent rumors spreading around the school, it seems as though teachers are planning on an upcoming strike to defend their rights. Fighting to prevent losing their preparation time, being unpaid for directing and supervising extracurriculars, and believably being underpaid, especially considering substitute teachers make more hourly wages without the requirements of a teaching degree or any other prerequisites. 

Although there is still so much ambiguity regarding teachers striking against the district and Board of Education, hopefully, some reasonable accommodations can be made to ensure happiness among teachers and the district.