61st Annual Macon County Fair :: September 17-20 @ Wayne Proffitt Agricultural Center - 441 South, Franklin, NC

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Opinion Letters Teacher assistants perform valuable service

STOP! I, too, would like to have smaller class-sizes, but whoa, let’s Stop, Relax, and Think!

According to our legislators, we cannot afford the classroom personnel that we have now. Literally, thousands of educators are being laid off. Isn’t it odd that at this time, there is a “new” idea by Sen. Berger to reduce the primary grades to a class of 15 to 1? It is only a great idea if you leave the assistants there, too!

Politics aside, could we use some common sense in this situation? If you kick-out seasoned teaching assistant professionals to reduce the class size, have you upped the personnel working with children? No, you have not. Children need child care, which means eating, drinking, playground and bathroom visits.

Within any classroom, children will be learning at different levels on different subjects. Under the present system in N.C., a certified teacher will have more time teaching with a teacher assistant, than without one, even with a few more students in K-3. All elementary students need supervision and assistance to go to the library, computer lab and every educational and basic need facet of the day.

We know that planning and facilitating appropriate learning experiences are the most important and time consuming aspects of our careers and require certified teachers. However, efforts can be multiplied by having a teacher’s assistant in the classroom.

Any good parent knows they can feel out-numbered with one young child if something goes amiss. Oftentimes, you need another adult! You cannot just ditch the other children and hope things turn out okay.

N.C. citizens are being ignored by the newly elected officials that swear their allegiance to the same public (there are no tricks to this … you just stay your campaign course, so you will hopefully be re-elected and you don’t listen to the cries of the public to keep the tax).

The primary certified teacher part of the educational package can not be sold alone! The first three years are important, but that should not distract us from delivering all North Carolinians educational opportunities. I read a blog where someone stated that education was not part of our constitutional rights and people should fend for themselves! I wonder how independent they would feel under a pile of tornado rubble or as a newborn minority in the poorest district in N.C.

A senator from our area is an orthodontist and I have heard he is a good one. He is not an educator nor a member of our educational organization filled with numerous specialties. How can he and others in his Tea Party family presume to know more about education than educators? Does an orthodontist work with only other orthodontists in his/her office( s)? The Asheville-Citizen published that Sen. Davis said that just because someone is in education does not mean that they are essential to education. Orthodontists were not always essential either; times and expectations have changed.

Oh, merit-based pay, well it is a dog and pony show. Ex: ABC’s motivating efforts went bankrupt when we met and exceeded expectations!

Rena Sutton MA Ed, NBCT, LPC
Adv. School Counselor Certified





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