AFTER HAVING taught sixth grade for two years in a Southwest Philadelphia public school, I'm facing a layoff. Though I'm not tenured nor do I have seniority, my principal is negotiating to keep me in my position.
I have aided handily in my school's "adequate yearly progress." My students respect and appreciate me. I'm a 27-year-old who entered the profession the old-fashioned way - through a graduate program. This demonstrates my dedication and intention to remain a teacher for the long haul.
I graduated from Emory University with honors. I'm a gigging musician. I exercise and eat healthy. I read literature and write in my spare time. I play an influential role in the lives of 23 children who are part of a socioeconomically vulnerable population.
This week, I'm attending a professional-development session on how to use a Smart Board - I heard that these may be installed in classrooms across the district.
How can the state fund such technological luxuries when it won't support the retention of good teachers? What does this reveal about what we value in education? I'm not as concerned about my own well-being - I'm from Cherry Hill and can always stay with my parents for a few months - but I know my students will never have a teacher like me.
Next year, with 33 children in a classroom, a Smart Board won't be cutting-edge pedagogy.