paying teachers more

Our Teachers Deserve More Pay, Not More Responsibility

They already deal with way more than what they're paid for, don't try to arm them as well.

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Throughout my K-12 Education, I have generally had good teachers. Of course, there was the occasional "Mr. I don't know, CAN you?" and the other few annoying or less helpful teachers, but I was blessed to have lived in a district where the standard for education was pretty high, due to the area being part of a higher-income, diverse town. However, even when I've had 'bad teachers,' like those who take forever to grade, or those who seem a little more detached from their students, I've always tried to see things from the teacher POV, since it is the field I am going into. And believe it or not, whenever I try to see things from the opposite point of view, my understanding of a situation deepens - shocking, I know.

Teachers work insanely long hours. No, I don't just mean the hours they spend in school, physically teaching. Aside from leading a classroom, teachers devote their lunch hours to helping out students and spend lots of time before and after school at their desks grading, helping students, or planning for the next day. Additionally, teachers spend a hefty chunk of their vacation days prepping for the upcoming school semester -- they have to create lesson plans, teaching supplements, homework assignments, and additional resources for their students. And as if that wasn't enough, many teachers coach sports or sponsor after-school clubs.

Yet, many teachers are still not able to make ends meet. According to this article, 20% of teachers have to get a second job in order to make ends meet. It begs the question, why aren't we paying our teachers more?

Teachers are the most essential workers in this nation, in my opinion. Pre-school and Elementary school teachers deal with snot-nosed buggers for 6-7 hours a day, essentially raising them and teaching them values, ethics, and the fundamental knowledge they need to get into the world. Middle school teachers deal with kids going through puberty, 'nuff said. And high school teachers are the ones who expose you to the world so that you can go out and get a job which you're passionate about (and then send your kids to preschool to go do said job.)

So now, you want to tell me, that there are people out there who want to arm teachers and continue to pay them the same wages? That's simply outrageous.

Forget the monetary aspect, arming teachers is in and of itself a ballistic (pun intended) idea, simply because that's not what we're signing up for. According to this Harvard article, arming teachers would not be beneficial because most teachers aren't trained to respond to conflict that way. If a threat is in the building, there is a lot of adrenaline and fear coursing through everyone's bodies, and though trained militia would be able to respond to threats calmly, teachers would most likely panic. The psychological impact is far too heavy. Additionally, if a student or teacher has a breakdown and finds themselves with access to the 'classroom gun', who knows what kinds of disasters could take place.

The answer to gun violence is not to turn our country into a militant state.

I've heard the argument that "if everyone had guns, then the mass shooting could've been stopped sooner." NO. If everyone had guns, especially in a bar, like the recent shooting in California, then it would result in more casualties, and it would be more difficult to identify the suspect because everyone would be holding a murder weapon.

What this country needs is stricter regulations, psych evals, and frequent checkups on gun owners. What this country needs is reform. What this country needs is proper education (ahem, properly compensated teachers!!!). What this country needs is empathy.

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
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The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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Things I Miss Now That I'm Home From College Again

There are so many reasons to be glad that the school year is over, but if you've done it right... there are a lot of reasons to miss it too.

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So, school is over now and I've come home. As expected I was so relieved at first. No more showering with flip-flops, no more listening to screaming girls running up and down the hall, and a space that is mine and mine alone. But after a week or so of being back, there are a few things I've already started to miss.

I know that not every single person has the ideal roommate but I got really lucky with mine. Coming home I was excited to have my own space, but now when I'm doing my midnight scrolling, I'm realizing that I miss being able to talk to her about the funny things I see in that very moment. Tagging, DMing, and texting her doesn't feel the same as a long night of giggles spent together.

Also, while seeing old friends when you get home is amazing, and there is always a lot to catch up on, you do start to miss your other friends too. Being in college means that your friends are going through similar things as you are all the time. You have tests together, clubs together, and sometimes you spend way too much time procrastinating together. The bond you begin to form is one you definitely begin to miss - especially when you guys don't live close off of campus.

Coming home also means you don't have a set schedule or at least not immediately. You may come back to a previous job and that puts something on your calendar, but the free time you still have during the week can be a little too much. I know I've spent way too much time obsessing over the Tati/James drama than I ever would have at school. The routine I had at school kept me busy and entertained, and I'm honestly missing it a lot right now.

There are a lot of other things to miss too - even things you thought you wouldn't. You miss the classes, the teachers, and sometimes the food. I know I miss the environment. It isn't a perfect one, but it's full of people just trying to find their way. We are all working through the roller coaster of life and we are all stuck on one beautiful campus together while we figure it all out. I miss meeting new people at the bus stops or running into old classmates and catching up.

I guess the bonus for me is that I just finished sophomore year which means I have more time to spend at school. Come senior year, I guess I'll have to learn quickly how to deal without the things I miss - and also create a schedule so I can travel to see all of my friends, but those are all problems for future me.

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