For more than 30 years, I have been teaching students with disabilities in an urban school district. Teaching kindergarten, in a tough school—to students with disabilities—is a difficult job, but I love it. The growth I witness in my students with disabilities, including developmental delays, autism, and traumatic brain injury, are worth all my efforts every day.
Teaching is a career, not a job. I know that not everyone can do what I do. That’s why we need to attract the best candidates to the profession and encourage good teachers to stay in the classroom. I could have had a much more lucrative career had I chosen to work in the for-profit sector, but I choose to spend my life serving children.
Somehow in the last year, this has become a-less-than-noble profession. Educators are being asked to do more with less while being blamed for a budget crisis we didn’t create.
The politics of blaming hardworking teachers for Ohio’s financial woes already has had a detrimental effect on those in the profession. Wonderful young teachers are talking about leaving. To add insult to injury, while public employees like me made considerable financial sacrifices to help Ohio balance its budget, politicians in Columbus doled out millions of dollars in tax breaks to their corporate campaign contributors.
Issue 2 unfairly creates two sets of rules—those for hard-working Ohioans like me and those for politicians and their friends with Columbus connections. That’s wrong and that’s why I’m voting NO on Issue 2 this November.
— Karen Andermills, special education kindergarten teacher, Columbus