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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 27, 2013 at 6:30 AM

State Rep. Liz Pike has bold words for teachers

Pike’s opinion is negative and misinformed

How sad that a member of the Education Committee of the state House of Representatives has such a negative and misinformed view of teachers in our state. [“Legislator doesn’t mince words over state teachers,” NW Wednesday, June 26.]

I have worked in the public and the private sectors for the past 40 years, including serving as a high-school teacher for four years. I left that job more than 30 years ago, but the sting of the workload and the demands of the job remain strong in my memory.

For me, and the teachers I have known, the job required long hours and was high-stress. I worked evenings and weekends preparing lesson plans, giving students feedback on their work and grading assignments. During summers, I attended additional courses — at my own expense — to maintain my certification and to stay current in my field.

The fantasy that state Rep. Pike has about how easy the job is — all those cushy vacations! — is probably not unlike my fantasy about working in the private sector. I imagined it meant junkets to Palm Springs to play golf with clients, free food in the corporate cafeteria, big management bonuses and company cars.

The grass is always greener on the other side, but in truth, if we want the best and the brightest to prepare our kids for the future, we’ve got to compensate them well. That’s what my grandkids deserve. Maybe state Rep. Pike will settle for second-rate for hers.

Billie Young, Seattle

Teachers are adequately paid

State Rep. Liz Pike’s Facebook comments are completely justified. Teaching is a career choice. You know the conditions — good and bad — and the pay scale in advance. A person can’t complain about a job once they accept it knowing those things.

I have the utmost respect for teachers; I was one myself once, as are several family members. I subsequently chose business. I always thought I was underpaid relative to my effort, but I chose it, including consistent 9- to 10-hour days, Sunday travel and late-evening returns home after the kids were asleep.

Sure, I complained about the conditions or the pay sometimes, but I could have easily chosen something else to do, or some other company to do it for.

Teachers are adequately paid for what they actually do. I’m glad they do it. I just wish they were paid on a merit system.

Gordon Gunderson, Port Orchard

0 Comments | More in Education, Politics | Topics: education, Liz Pike, pay

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