To our Huntsville City School Teachers, Support Staff, Aides, and District Employees:
Despite being abused by total strangers, students, sometimes parents, a talk-radio host (who doesn’t seem to know any word other than “moronic”), and your own school board and superintendent, you’re still standing and teaching our children, seeking to bring out the best in them, and help them learn to dream of a better tomorrow.
You give up time with your families, your own children, your friends; you give up far more lucrative careers; you give up the freedom to sit down and eat lunch simply because you love teaching. You love helping students see the world in a different light. You love making it possible for students to create a new world for us all.
And so I say thank you.
These past two years have been impossible for you. I know. I’ve seen it on your faces despite your attempts to always make the best of a terrible situation.
You’ve been blamed and made to suffer for the district’s and the board’s financial mismanagement.
You’re being blamed when a student who comes to you without being able to speak the language isn’t reading at grade level after a mere month of school.
You’re being blamed if your best students don’t continue to improve at an ever increasingly faster rate.
You’re being blamed when the WiFi network in your school fails.
You’re being threatened and intimidated when you ask questions, which is the whole purpose of education.
You’re being told that you must work harder, work longer, work faster, for less money, fewer benefits, and constant, ceaseless attacks.
And yet despite all of this, you teach on. Because you care. You teach because you can.
And so I say thank you.
I am not the only one who is concerned about these things.
Dr. Henry Mabry, the AEA Executive Secretary, also cares about these things. He is aware of these things, but he needs to hear from you and to hear it first hand. If you’re pleased with how things are going, call him. If, on the other hand, you’re as concerned as I am, call him.
If you have a few moments today or tomorrow, please contact him directly by calling his office at 800-392-5839 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do your best to contact him soon.
UPDATE: It seems that Dr. Mabry has decided to tell callers that they should work through channels instead. To be frank, this is highly disappointing to me. Given the problems that our district is facing, given the absence of response that HEA and AEA has offered so far, this strikes me as a foolish step by an organization that should be worried about membership.
Since he has decided to refer people to channels, I would still recommend that you contact your Regional AEA Manager, Leigh Phillips, 205-685-9099 or via email at email@example.com. She is also aware of the issues going on in Huntsville City, and I suspect that she is willing to listen.