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Save the Teachers
February 15, 2011 - Kylie Saari
Sometime this week you will see a story in the paper about some fifth graders who are trying to save their teachers by hanging posters up in their school.
I won't ruin it for you by telling you everything here, but I just have to say, interviewing those five girls was an exercise for me.
They were so enthusiastic. They believe with all their heart all they need to do is tell the higher ups they don't want their teachers let go, and that is all it will take.
They also have little to no understanding of school budgets. Which I didn't even begin to grasp until I started working for the Sentinel and got a crash course in it.
Sitting in their living room, listening to them rattle off how selling all the school SMART boards might save one teacher, and if they sell cookie dough they could save another... well, it was inspiring and sad.
I guess I am coming to terms with my own adulthood as I fought the urge to tell these girls how it works. That you can't use the new building fund to pay for teachers because it is against the law, that you can have all teachers get paid less to keep endangered teachers on because the unions would never allow it. As they segued into a discussion about how it is always the younger teachers who lose their jobs first, I wanted to explain tenure to them and give them their first glimpse into the world of politics.
I didn't though. There passion was inspiring. Imagine if we all came together for things we didn't like and fought as hard as we could the only way we knew how?
These girls are dealing with a blow to their stability. Their school, their teachers, it isn't something that they should worry about. They are doing something I would have done at their age, and now, as I look from a grown-ups perspective, I am trying to regain some of their enthusiasm and desire to change what is unfair.
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