As a high school student, I was less than exemplary. I was unmotivated, disinterested, and more focused on most other things than I was my schoolwork. I often criticized how education took place in schools, a view I still find myself wrestling with years later. Despite all this, I believe knowledge is the most valuable skill one can possess.
On September 1st, the teachers of the Tumwater School District went on strike. The teachers have stated their reason for the strikes includes, “pay, class sizes and class safety have been touted as key issues.” On September 12th, teachers were ordered to return to classes by the Thurston County Supreme Court. Teachers voted to remain on strike, prepared to potentially face the district in further court cases.
Despite my past grievances, I’ve always valued the worth of educators. To possess the ability to interact with children on such a mass scale for years on end is one worthy of respect and fair compensation. They’re much like parents to these young men and women, and a great teacher can stick with an individual for a lifetime. But, it appears that the district does not share this perception of their employees.
In an ironic twist, administrators are now teaching by their actions as young students witness the treatment of their teachers. While it can only be assumed how students will interpret these actions, it will stay with them for years to come, which begs the question; how does the district want their efforts to be perceived? Do they want to be seen as an organization that wishes to compromise and provides the best kind of education of their students? Or one that would sooner go to court instead of working towards a goal that appeases both sides?
Knowledge is a powerful tool, one that can enable the ability to think for oneself, the value of which can not be understated. It’s because of the great teachers that I’ve had in my time in the Tumwater School District and beyond that has allowed me to develop my views and my decision to stand with them. Words have weight, as do the actions that coincide with them. It can only be hoped an agreement will be reached, and those educators will be shown the value they deserve.