No respect

I don’t feel respected when I sense voicing my professional opinion about improving education is often unappreciated, sometimes even punished.
I don’t feel respected when provided only a fraction of the funds I spend on classroom resources. I’m allocated $100 each year out of the $34 million school budget. Hundreds more come out of my own pocket.
I don’t feel respected when school leaders tell me one thing, then do another. Most recently, teachers were told many would see old salary steps restored, only to discover (the very next week) an entirely different, and greatly reduced, proposal to the school board.
My separation feels less like a happy retirement and more like a painful divorce. For 20 years the school system and I maintained a workable relationship that, for the sake of the children, was worth a few compromises from both sides. More recently, compromises have turned into non-negotiables. Our partnership has become so one-sided that I’ve lost my influence and identity as a professional.
I’ll still be working to improve education in Fluvanna by raising the voice of teachers who know their students, know their curriculum, and know that sharing their expertise is key to improving public education. I’ll continue to take their ideas and information before the Fluvanna School Board, hoping to convince all to value our voice.

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