MILLEDGEVILLE — [Recently] I was privy to watch the BOE at its best. And I was appalled. I watched the BOE give retiring educators a token six-inch wooden trophy. After the board meeting, they were invited to eat school cafeteria food that wasn’t even as tasty as what these educators have been eating between 20 and 37 years at their own schools.
These educators have given of themselves all these many years to educate their children. And you need to understand, they consider them, THEIRS. They get up every morning with the joy of knowing they are going to make a difference. They go to work proud to be teachers and ready to brighten the lives of our children. In many cases, these educators have saved as much as 220 days of sick leave because they were so dedicated, to teaching our children that they went to work on days they really didn’t feel like going in. They enjoy seeing that smile they get when one of their kids understands what they are teaching. That makes it all worthwhile.
During these many years, they have had to deal with constant bureaucratic changes in their teaching programs. These changes make it necessary for these educators to re-learn teaching programs every few years. They have dealt with uncontrollable kids and their uninterested parents. They have had to handle “daily” the children who don’t want to be in school and who will go out of their way to disrupt the entire class. They get up every morning knowing the challenges that they may have to deal with and do it with pride. They also realize that today may be the day that some child attacks another child, or them, but they continue to ensure a safe environment for the other children. These people are special, and should be thanked many times over for their sacrifices over their long careers.
However, the BOE felt a six-inch wooden apple trophy from Sri Lanka (home of $0.25 per piece child labor) and a meal from a local school cafeteria was thanks enough. They serve a better meal at a staff meeting. It is a true shame that the BOE thinks so little of its retiring educators. I now understand why so many teachers are leaving Baldwin County for much greener pastures.
It’s time that we let the BOE know what we think about how they treat our Educators.
I THANK YOU. You are all special people, and we thank you for your dedication these many years.