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Roundup Results: Do you think North Carolina teachers are valued?

Last week was Teacher Appreciation Week! Check out our series here.

With this topic in mind, Reach NC Voices asked North Carolinians for their input on teacher appreciation in our May 3 Reach Roundup newsletter. We posed our Question of the Week: “Do you think North Carolina teachers are valued?” Response options included: they’re very appreciated, they’re somewhat appreciated, they’re hardly appreciated, or they’re not appreciated at all. Here’s the breakdown of how participants answered our question as well as some of the comments we received.

“The State and County overload us with far too many administrative duties and expect us to be the ‘parents,’ psychiatrists, nurses, secretaries, administrators, etc. There is no respect from the top down.”
-Jinnette from Fayetteville, NC

“I think many parents value us, and they are very appreciative. Our local school board appreciates us and does all they can to offset cuts made at the state and federal level (it’s not enough, but they do what they can). I don’t feel that our state legislature values us at all, and sadly, several of our legislators have said so publicly. It’s demeaning to teachers and destructive to our education system.”
-Rebecca from Tarboro, NC

“Legislators want a sound bite that says they support teachers. That’s the extent of their commitment to public education.”
-Eric from Raleigh

“Teacher pay, especially veteran teachers, and per student spending is reflective of teacher appreciation. We are not appreciated. I have been teaching for 24 years in NC and I work harder now than I did in year 3, and I spend less time actually teaching. I am made to feel guilty if I am not spending my time at home working on school work. I short-change my own family and my school parents make me feel guilty for it. It is hours and hours of planning and grading and updating power school and responding to e-mails and paperwork and dealing with multiple preps. I challenge any lawmaker to come spend a week with me. Anytime.”
-Juliana from Elizabeth City

“You can have the best students, community, coworkers, and administration possible but at the end of the day not feel appreciated because it feels like we are being disrespected at the state level. Many of us–I would be willing to guess the majority of us–do not have the best students, community, coworkers, and administration possible (by ‘best’ I mean supportive, engaged, and eager to collaborate). Without those things, it feels like being disrespected from within and without.”
-Elizabeth from Greenville

Interested in participating in Reach NC Voices? You can sign up to share your thoughts on our weekly questions. We’d love to hear from you!

Yasmin Bendaas

Yasmin Bendaas is a Science writer.  A North Carolina native, she received her master’s degree in Science & Medical Journalism at UNC Chapel Hill, where she was a Park Fellow. She received her Bachelor of Arts in anthropology in 2013 from Wake Forest University, where she double-minored in journalism and Middle East and South Asia studies. As an undergraduate student, Bendaas gained insight into public health when she interned at the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, a statewide grantmaker focused on rural health, including access to primary care, diabetes, community-centered prevention, and mental health and substance abuse. 

As a journalist, Bendaas has been funded twice by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting for fieldwork in Algeria — first to cover a disappearing indigenous tattoo tradition, and again to look at how climate change affects rural sheepherding practices.