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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

DCPS is a terrible place to work, and don't take my word for it, take theirs. (draft)

 First, let me say at one point, I loved being a teacher. It may have been the first thing I told people when I met them because I was so proud of my job. It's not that way anymore. Now I feel stuck doing a job I may still be pretty good at but don't have a passion for, a passion that was chipped away at by both the district and state. 

I also want people to know that there are so many great things going on in the district, dedicated teachers, hard-working students, and caring and supportive parents. I just believe most of these great things happen despite the district and state, not because of them or with their assistance. 

Finally, before I start, I wanted to say, we will never be the district we could be as long as we marginalize, overwork, and treat our teachers as if they were easily replaceable, never and it is way past time the district understood that, and I blame the district for most of above. 

So we have the millage vote coming up. A few years back, when the district announced the referendum, I was initially against it. Not because we didn't need it, we desperately do, but because it wouldn't address school salaries that were just as bad. As usual, the district decided to take care of staff last. I supported it after the district told me they would use the 500k a month they said they were spending on emergency maintenance on salary. They eventually did, almost two years after the referendum passed. 

To encourage people to vote for the millage, the district is posting videos from teachers, some of whom have left, who talk about how crappy it is to work for the district. Here is the catch, they barely talk about salary at all.

With dramatic music, Kayla talks about how her life is worth more and being able to spend time with her family and friends is important. She implies that she was working from 7 in the morning to 10 at night and then at the very end mentions she can't pay her bills and would have to get a second job during the summer, well, actually a job because teachers are technically laid off then. Her first thought was to talk about all the demands and unpaid overtime hours she had to do.

Next, Rhonda speaks about all the different students that veteran teachers have had to deal with. She doesn't mention salary at all, but let's talk about veteran teachers. There are about 1500 lifers in the district, and we, because I am one of them, will be out tens of millions from our salaries and retirement when it is all said and done. In the last five years, I am out a back of the napkin guess, 50k from what I was promised alone when I started because veterans have seen their salaries go backward. 

The last video was with a principal named Justin, who talks about a lack of resources, and then the countless hours that teachers put in, um, why the $@#& should teachers have to put in countless hours, and how is the millage rate going to fix that? 

To be fair, there were two videos with teachers talking about having to pay bills and spend their own money on resources, two constant sources of headaches for many.

Where money is important, heck super important, it's far from the only problem. Workload, stress, a lack of support, and the constant drip drip drip of disrespect, from the district and state all, play a huge role, one I would argue is more significant than money because everyone who entered the profession knows they won't be rich, I mean unless they start a charter school, but that is another story.

So I support the millage increase, and I encourage you to do so as well. Just know even if it passes, things won't change much unless the district changes how it treats its staff, something they have shown little inclination to do.

To watch more teacher videos, click the link,

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