It is nice to read that Marietta City School teachers will be receiving stipends and promised raises in this unprecedented and financially unstable time. Not only have the teachers in the middle and high school stepped up to the plate with regards to teaching and engaging students virtually, they now have fully embraced providing education to both virtual and in-person students. The spring shutdown created a chaotic environment for both students and teachers. Still, then with the start of school in August, it was evident that the teachers took every bit of information and feedback they received from that spring chaos, were able to pivot, and bring a real and predictable sense of “school” to the virtual world. While there were a few hiccups here and there, such as the online learning platform going down and a hurricane taking out the town’s power, teachers have remained consistent, communicative and diligent while navigating our “new normal.”
All that to be said, the average raises of $1,006 is not nearly enough for all the work teachers are doing. Not only are they responsible for the virtual classroom, but roughly 50% of students are back in-person at the high school and more at the middle school. While the MCS teachers are top-notch, I cannot imagine the difficulties they experience monitoring and engaging these different groups of students. We had parents in our district pleading with the school board over the summer to start back in person so our children would not be left behind academically. Now with students in two different places, teachers are working even harder to make sure these kids are filled with knowledge and safe, and $1,006 is what they will receive for all their work? Maybe instead of buying Chromebooks for students who do not need them, who have been told they do not have to use them, we could have redirected these funds to the teachers. While fair and equitable across our student body is admirable, maybe it is time to look at what is right for our district. We need to provide for those students in need, but we also need to provide our teachers with what is fair and equitable for the job they perform in the form of a more significant raise.