The Importance of Teachers

For thirteen years, one of our most persistent thoughts is: “I hate school.” Or something along the lines. Our “hate for school” is defined by our distaste of the curriculum, the piles of work, and even the teachers.

Teachers. The cruel and old creatures that are “out to get us,” and only exist to torment us. So who would have thought that so many different students, parents, and alumnae would come together to save these teachers? The economic crisis has hit everyone hard. Unfortunately, this includes the already-not-so-great Southern education. The Cobb County School District was forced to cut millions of dollars from its budget. Sadly, they decided to do this by firing teachers; a RIF—Reduction In Force.

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But the county did not make their decisions based on the quality of the teachers work. Instead, they went down a list of employees and when they were hired. Teachers new to Cobb County, but not necessarily new to the field of education, were told they would not be back in the fall. This created quite an uproar in many of the schools around the county, including mine. A group of students and alumnae organized a peaceful demonstration.

Hundreds of parents, alumnae, current students, and teachers gathered outside the school on a Friday afternoon to show their support for the teachers let go, as well as their disappointment in Cobb County’s horrible decision. The rally was broadcasted on over four channels and published in two newspapers, regarded as the most peaceful demonstration at a Cobb County school. We knew this wouldn’t change the fact that the county is in debt. But it gave us the chance to show everyone that teachers are more important than meets the eye. Every teacher makes an impact on students. They do more than educate.

They inspire us and they support us. So many teachers can be considered our second parents. Without these amazing people who dedicate themselves to bettering the next generation’s future, we would be nowhere. The majority of students don’t even know what they want to do with their lives until they have that one teacher who changes everything. That teacher makes every closed door open wide to a hallway of endless possibilities. We owe our successes and accomplishments to them; our new resolves and larger vocabularies.

We give them thirteen years, but they give us our whole future. The situation we are in is a vicious cycle. These economic problems lead to a bad education, which in turn will lead to similar problems. We need to learn and benefit from the bad experiences and obstacles that occur. Students need teachers to point them in the right direction so in order to go on and find solutions.

Education is what determines the future, our fate. It should be the last thing to be cut, rather than one of the biggest. Georgia is already ranked as 48th in the country for SAT scores. And that’s not entirely because of the students. We need to save our schools in order to have a better future. The best and only way to do that, is to follow through with the mantra of Wheeler’s demonstration: “Save our teachers; save our school!”