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Sunday, September 8, 2013
As a veteran teacher who works with high-poverty non-English speakers, I am appalled that The Roanoke Times chose to reprint “Short-timers may teach us” by columnist Esther Cepeda on Sept. 2.
While I agree that new teachers often have more enthusiasm and a fresher outlook than veteran educators, that’s not all it takes to be a good teacher. Those who come into the classroom and leave after two years to move on to bigger and better things see teaching our children as ré sumé padding. Do you want your children to be stepping-stones?
The assertion that teaching, especially in high-poverty areas, requires dedication and sacrifice that “no lifer would purposely undertake” is insulting to myself and to every veteran teacher who has sacrificed family time, personal health and a high-paying career in a respected profession to undertake the noble goal of educating our next generation.
I posit that the veteran teachers — who devote their lives to education knowing that they are going into a demanding, high-stress career with little pay and in which most of the rewards are intrinsic — are the true heroes. They’re not in it for themselves but rather because they care about children and America’s future.
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