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  • Approved for CNN

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    Posted March 6, 2013 by
    bbennett1965
    Location
    Phoenix
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Teachers: Worried about forced spending cuts?

    More from bbennett1965

    Too tired to worry

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     bbennett1965 teaches high school journalism alongside two other subjects in Phoenix, Arizona, she says she cannot think of one teacher who hasn't seen the affects of budget cuts. "It's a bipolar world we're living in because on the one hand lawmakers are mandating that we up our standards while on the other they're cutting funding," she said. She says in her state the standards are changing and teachers' salaries are being tied to students' testing scores. "Bottom line is standards are changing, evaluations are changing -- and this is an even bigger deal when you consider we haven't seen salaries keep up with inflation -- while those who control our laws and our budgets are winning elections claiming they will get more accountability, more results out of us while shaving away dollars,' she said.
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    I’ll be honest when this latest batch of financial/political meltdown hit the news I tuned it out. Before education was even mentioned I knew it meant yet more money cut from an already whittled down budget. I was surprised to see it would be coming out of areas that need it the most, but then again not so much. It makes as much sense to take money away from the at-risk populations as it does to use this sequester to manipulate your political masses.
    I am utterly ashamed and disgusted with the beings in office who cannot get their heads out of their wallets (I tell myself they’re bought because that at least puts some logic into it all), to do what they’re supposed to do --- work toward the better good of our country. Sure they all say that’s what they’re doing, but they’re not the ones in over-crowded, underfunded classrooms.
    They’re not the ones spending more to house, feed and clothe their children while watching their paychecks dwindle, or even worse no longer being able to earn their pay. We teachers aren’t alone in this. There are still a lot of us working twice as hard for half of what we used to get, and we’re worried about our children’s future. What will go next?
    Unfortunately, unlike those who are making these fiscal decisions, we don’t have time to pontificate and debate. We must find ways to make it all work, and here’s the thing we do. It’s not even close to optimal, but we manage to swallow our pride and work with whomever, whenever to make the most vital ends meet. We compromise --- sometimes way more than we’d like --- and we try to find some sort of balance between what we need and what we want. Those of us who are parents take extra steps to try to help pave a better way for our children.
    Those of us who teach those children do the same. We are making do with less and less and less, and we are incredibly tired and stressed. I won’t bore you with the details of what I make, what I pay out of pocket for my classroom, and what I as a human being invest into my students --- you’ve heard this before from way too many others. People tell me they don’t know how I do what I do and that they respect me for it, but there’s no need. I do this because it’s my job, my chosen career. It’s what taxpayers, who pay my salary, expect of me. It is also what I believe in. I don’t mind making sacrifices if they are for the better good of our institution, our investment in tomorrow.
    Now why in the world can’t our political alleged leaders do the same?
    But, I am not a saint. There will come a time when I have nothing more to give. I’m not finished yet, so I’ll keep doing whatever I can to keep my class afloat, but there are only so many holes we can plug before it all sinks. I know the bickering will continue and some money may or may not find its way back into our budgets, but I need more than that. I need the foolishness to stop, so that when I teach responsibility, accountability, critical thinking and long-term planning to my students I can point to our leaders as models.

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