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In defense of teachers

Published: Sun, May 22, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

In defense of teachers

Well, the time has come for someone to stand up for the legions of wonderful educators in this area. Lately this profession had been maligned, cursed and accused of sending this country into its economic woes. The paper makes accusations that make my head spin. And it accuses anyone who dares to question it as not being intelligent enough to ask appropriate questions.

Yes, I am an educator and have been for 35 years. I am proud to say that my family has combined experience in education of over 127 years. We have worked in grades K through 12 and in administration. Most of us came into this profession when business was booming and companies were providing their employees with generous annual increases, free medical insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, employer donations to a pension fund and matched contributions to 401ks. Most of them received two to six weeks vacation or more and 11 paid holidays. Which means that they worked on average 15 days more than teachers did — and they didn’t have to go to school nights or summers to keep their jobs. I know that well because my husband was one of these people for many years.

At that time, teachers were working for far less than most other professions. There was minimum insurance and we have always paid into our pension fund. We had summers off, but most had to work other jobs to be able to provide for their families.

The profession has finally reached the point that is comparable to livelihoods of other professions. Unfortunately, this has come at a time when businessmen have made a mess of the economy. We are not responsible for this, but we are being attacked constantly. I invite any of you to spend an entire day with 24 kindergartners or 4th graders or be responsible for 150 high school English students and then decide if we are in fact not paid enough for what we do.

This nation has been served well by the public school system and its teachers for generations. Who do you think educated the people who are throwing darts at us now?

Carmella Smallhoover, Poland

Honesty brightens a day

The other day I stopped at the IGA on Youngstown-Poland Road to purchase some groceries.

A couple hours later I decided to go to another store, but I could not find my billfold. I searched my car and could not find it. I realized where I thought I had dropped it, so I went back to the IGA.

Long story short is that it had dropped out of my jacket pocket in the parking lot. A customer found it and turned it into the office. The person did not leave their name so I have no idea who to thank for their honesty.

This is such a refreshing incident when we hear so much about thievery and other crimes. I pray that this individual will read this and know that I appreciate their honesty. This action reaffirms my faith that there are still a lot of good people in this world.

Gail Taylor, New Springfield


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