Letters to the Editor: Sept. 22, 2023

Street not so easy

In rebuttal to last week’s letter, “Easy Street.”

It’s obvious you’ve never had a teacher in your family, or been one or lived with one. I have been both a teacher and a 40-hour-a-week worker.

As a 40-hour worker, I walked out at 5 with the rest of the day and my weekends free. I didn’t have to think about my job duties until the next work day.

Short days?

Teachers’ work days don’t start when they enter the school or end when the kids leave. All the paperwork and planning has to be done while the kids aren’t there.

Seldom does a teacher not take home a box or briefcase of work instead of staying in the classroom until 7 or 8 at night.

As a teacher, I never had 40-hour schedule. It was usually 50 to 60 hours.

And even when not actively doing school chores, my mind was working on ideas of how to reach a child having problems or how to present a concept so the students would understand it. The job never leaves the brain.

I spent more hours a year involved in my job as a teacher for “only nine months” than I did as a 40-hour worker in 12 months. And the 40-hour job was much easier.

Be grateful you have people willing to take on the stressful job of teaching and stop belittling them.

A teacher’s job is like an iceberg. Only a small portion is seen.

The bulk of the job is hidden from view. Those “breaks” allow the teacher to return to the classroom willing to take on the next batch of 60-hour work weeks again.

Alice Howell



Making a difference

In response to Sandra Ponto’s venting, I’m writing to say that I am extremely proud of the educators in my community. I see them working extra hours, choosing library books on the weekends to supplement their school classrooms.

I know they are purchasing items from their personal budget to enhance their students’ experiences. I see their cars parked outside the school early in the morning, after school gets out, and on weekends.

During these so-called summers “off,” they are taking professional development classes, cleaning up from the previous year, preparing their classrooms for incoming students, organizing lesson plans that match updated curriculum, connecting with current events and utilizing new knowledge gained from professional development courses.

It takes very dedicated people, people who care more about their students than their paychecks, to be teachers.

If you know some educators, please reach out and let them know you appreciate their work. Let them know you support them.

And teachers, please don’t let Ms. Ponto’s misguided conceptions about your work discourage you.

Teaching is the profession that creates all other professions. What you are doing makes a difference!

Samantha Geary




Alice, you just described the lives of 90% of the people who work on a salary pay scale, with two weeks of vacation and a handful of paid holidays. Oh, and they also pay your salary.

Our unionized education system has failed us miserably. It needs to be completely torn down and rebuilt. Department of Education and teachers unions need to go first.

A quote from the Education Week website.

"Thirty countries now outperform the United States in mathematics at the high school level. Many are ahead in science, too. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the millennials in our workforce tied for last on tests of mathematics and problem-solving among the millennials in the workforces of all the industrial countries tested. We now have the worst-educated workforce in the industrialized world."



Any informed person understands that Ms Howell and teachers in general are earning their pay. Education is a challenging line of work and we should appreciate ( and support) their efforts educating our kids. What difference does it make who pays them?

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