Most teachers will tell you that seeing students outside of school is an interesting experience. When I was teaching and would run into my students at the grocery store, they would be shocked. Then their parents would gently remind them that teachers are people too and need to get groceries just like everyone else.
Teachers seeing their students at a grocery store is beneficial in more ways than just showing students that their teachers have lives outside of the classroom. It creates a sense of community when teachers see their students’ parents outside of school, and it helps student-teacher relationships in the classroom if the teacher is living in the same community and experiencing the same environment as the students.
More and more, however, teachers across the U.S. are unable to find housing in the communities where they work. Soaring rents in major cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City have made it extremely difficult for teachers to find safe, affordable places to live close by their work.
In North Carolina, affordable housing is increasingly difficult to find in cities such as Asheville, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, and Durham, but housing issues are not limited to cities. Rural counties also suffer from a lack of housing for teachers—especially new, often single teachers.
EducationNC is partnering with the North Carolina Community Development Initiative to study teacher housing needs across the state. If you are a teacher, please take the survey below and send it to your colleagues so we can better understand your housing needs.