Your View: I almost shed a tear for those poor teachers

Sep. 05, 2013 @ 04:58 PM

After reading the article on the front page of the Enterprise on Aug. 15 about the “underpaid” teachers over there in Guilford County, and in North Carolina in general, I almost had a tear in my eye for these poor souls.
Ever since it became apparent that the Republicans were taking control in North Carolina, we’ve heard a steady barrage of comments about the plight of the poor teachers, statements like, “They’re underpaid,” “They’re overworked,” and “They pay for their own supplies.” I say almost, because before I cried about it, I checked my facts and figures in the public record.
The compensation for a starting teacher in Guilford County with 0-2 years experience along with the National Board Certification, in other words a “Newbie,” and including salary, benefits, and the Guilford County supplement is around $40,000 per year. Not too bad for a 10-month per year job that usually starts at 8 a.m. and ends between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. each day, Monday-Friday.  Especially not when you also consider that the average worker in Guilford County has a median income of $26,249 and the average worker in North Carolina as a whole has a median income of only $26,398. That oftentimes is for working 40-50 hours per week at manual labor, in a factory.
I was particularly impressed by the gentleman from Archdale, who lamented about the fact that he “may end up having to teach in another state because North Carolina does not value me.”  Anyone else want to join me in helping to pack a lunch for the road?
Please, give me a break!

Newspaper delivery prepared us for future
I enjoyed Tom Blount’s column last Sunday describing the trials and tribulations of the modern-day newspaper carriers. I often think about my days as a “paper boy” in western New York in the mid-1960s.
I started delivering papers seven days a week when I was 9 years old and took the route over from my older brother when I was 11 (he graduated up to bagging groceries at the local super market). With 120 daily customers I wore double (across both shoulders) canvas bags and could roll a tight paper capable of being thrown up on the front porch (in good weather) without coming undone. We were never allowed to leave the paper on the driveway and in nasty weather had to place it inside the storm door.
Wednesdays and Sundays were the heaviest loads — papers crammed with all sorts of sales inserts and comics. I was also responsible for buying the newspapers wholesale, collecting weekly and taking the money (on a city bus) down to the newspaper office every Saturday morning to pay my bill. Winters were long and cold and summers short and hot. But that is where I learned the virtues of hard work and to appreciate the money I earned.
I kept that paper route until I too was old enough (16 years old) to move up to shagging shopping carts and stocking shelves. Like most guys my age, I’ve always worked at something. Although tough at times I would not trade those experiences for anything and it did help prepare us for what was to come – life.
High Point



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