I am a teacher of the most important skill a student needs. I instruct 11th- and 12th-grade students in the art of reading complex texts and writing according to their own voice, the intended audience and their purpose. I spend countless hours grading essays and finding texts that will facilitate learning skills that will allow students to become college and career ready.
Currently, I am earning a master’s degree in English to improve my ability to teach. My stomach is still turning at the news of N.C. Senate Bill 361, which would end the $3,000 yearly supplement for teachers who get post-graduate degrees after the next school year. I want to be equipped to serve my students, but I cannot afford a $20,000 degree that is not significantly supplemented by my employer.
I am frightened at the prospect of losing effective classroom teachers to higher education and other occupations. North Carolina does not value the teacher who wants to improve effectiveness by continuing education. Politicians need to remember the value of motivated teachers because, if the trend continues, there will be no motivation left.
Zane G. Porter