Mary Williams-Kotnik: When teachers leave

November 9, 2013 

Yevonne Brannon’s Nov. 2 Point of View piece “Let’s keep our teachers from walking away” about the fallacy of the “mythical failure” of our public schools, blaming teachers and what we need to do to “let’s keep our teachers from walking away” was outstanding.

Teachers in public schools are predominantly women, and that fact has probably historically influenced how lawmakers, who are predominantly men, determine funding and salaries. It is time to value teaching for what it provides our society or what we expect it to provide.

North Carolina manufacturing jobs aren’t the only area of employment that this state is losing to China. A family member of mine, an N.C. Teaching Fellow who graduated from Meredith College in 2000, left her teaching job in an affluent elementary school in western Wake County after one year to go teach in Shanghai, China. What started out as a one-year overseas opportunity and adventure has reached its third year. With the state of education in N.C., she has decided to pay off her debt to North Carolina rather than return and fulfill her teaching obligation. She is one of many, many ex-patriots living and teaching in English-speaking schools in China. Just think about that and the potential long-term implications for this state and our country.

Mary Williams-Kotnik


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