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Teachers For Change : Bring Back Public Employee Strikes

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Teachers for Change: Bring Back Public Employee Strikes in Florida Personal Connection Teacher. Coach. Facilitator. Leader. Grader. Data Analyst. Presenter. Confidant. Counselor. Educator. Instructor. No matter the title a teacher holds, a teacher wears many hats every day throughout the school year. I, for one, have a collection of hats that I change on a regular basis, which I now find an exhausting and draining task. I admit, I joined the education profession out of necessity, needing a real job out of college. It was my first salaried position with full benefits; at twenty-two, I thought I was rich! After only one year, I demonstrated high student achievement gains and was asked to join the leadership team (more hats). I became an effective school and district leader at a low-performing school (ninety-three percent of the student population was on free lunch), but I started to understand the phrase, “overworked and underpaid.” After five years, the district implemented a new evaluation system. Although I was already disgruntled with the lack of compensation for all the extra roles I filled at my school, now I had to reexamine my role in the classroom and link my performance to my students’ performance in a new evaluation system. My salary (not bonus) would be directly reflective of my students’ achievement (or regression) on one state mandated test. My mind filled with questions: What if my students had a bad test day? What if the continuous pressure from all
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