Susan Morris: TAs essential to teachers

March 22, 2013 

TAs essential in aiding teachers

As a third-grade teacher’s assistant, I have a vested interest in Gov. Pat McCrory’s budget proposal to eliminate 3,000 positions from our state’s public schools.

But my concern over this “line item” extends much further than the future of my job.

I would respectfully ask the governor and our legislators to learn more about how TAs help schools function efficiently and productively.

Most TAs are paid less than a third of what teachers make. But consider what we do.

We handle the daily tasks that, however mundane, must be done. We take attendance, check homework, turn in lunch counts, supervise recess, grade tests, file papers, put up bulletin boards, check supplies, keep records and make copies.

But we are much more than the tasks we perform.

We dispense band aids, tissues, hugs and advice.

We are the eyes and ears on the playground who not only keep children physically safe but mediate squabbles and see the silent pain of those who are left out. We are the glue that holds a classroom together.

If Gov. McCrory is sincere in his desire to “empower teachers” – and I believe he is – I would ask him to revisit this aspect of his budget. TAs give the state of North Carolina a lot of educational bang for the buck.

Susan Morris

Durham

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