The Pittsylvania Education Association is a unified group of educators, including but not limited to teachers, administrators, coaches, counselors, food service, paraeducators, technical services, and transportation who work for delivering on the promise of a high-quality public education that successfully prepares every student to reach their full potential.
Over the years, as educators, we have all at one time, in one capacity or another, felt that we have failed to deliver on the promise of a high quality public education to our students because we just couldn’t give anymore.
We couldn’t fix the walls; we couldn’t fix the leaks in the ceilings; we couldn’t give students the resources they needed to clear the final hurdle because we simply didn’t have, weren’t provided, or couldn’t afford it unless we dipped directly into our own pockets to make things happen.
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It’s not an excuse per se, it’s just reality.
We all understand that if you don’t have to give, then you can’t and you shouldn’t. Consider going to the gas station or the grocery store – you can reasonably only get what you can afford. If you buy too much without the proper financing, you create an immediate debt that must be reconciled before leaving the merchant, such as putting the extra item back in the cart and asking the clerk to remove it from the invoice or in a veil . effort, in fact stealing because you are taking it without the intention of paying for it. The battle to define what is most needed continues in school and in life.
During the 2022 New Employee Orientation, our Association Board of Directors was able to interact with our new colleagues. For me, it was a moment in time that I knew was coming. Among the new employees, six of them were alumni and four of them came as class teachers.
Years ago when I asked them what they wanted to be when they grew up, they said, a teacher. And on this cool July summer day, they had begun this journey. But throughout this journey, the questions of “Remember” have also been asked. Some of those memories were tender and some were not so.
This 10+ year cycle had taken these students back to some of the same hallowed halls they had once claimed as their learning environment now as their work environment, all the while remembering what their upbringing lacked and what day wondering in their new role as educators, “I want to do good, but what can I do; I don’t want to see the same problems happen with my students as I do? »
They, like me, realized that we had to do better. Certainly, some things have changed and improved over time in our school division, but other aspects of health, safety, resources and working conditions have worsened. These are not issues that our association has been blind to, these are things that you have heard us address at school board meetings, in the media and in conversations with the public. Problems then have snowballed into problems now and what do we as a community have to offer the next generation when the current generation has already seen and experienced where we broke the promise.
We agree, no one wants the mistakes of the past to be repeated and we want a better and brighter future for the community to come. We have to invest in our schools, invest in our people, and do it fairly and as justly as possible, because the only thing we want to achieve is that our children remember how they were treated, what what they felt and what they felt. do we want to be the legacy for the next generation?
Jones is the president of the Pittsylvania Education Association.