community-based, non-corporate, participatory media
Local teachers deserve compensation for efforts
by Jennifer Paul, Penn-Trafford High School '05 Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2005 at 2:12 PM
Opinion piece regarding the current contract negotiations between Penn-Trafford teachers and the Penn-Trafford school board and administration
As a recent graduate of Penn-Trafford High School, I have taken an interest in the current negotiations with the PTEA regarding the salaries and contracts of all Penn-Trafford teachers. After experiencing the workings of an educational institution other than Penn-Trafford, I can tell you that P-T’s staff members deserve to be commended for their teaching efforts.
Currently, I’m a student at Boston University, a private institution that attracts individuals from all over the country and from across the world. As a freshman, I’m required to take a basic writing class; in it, we are supposed to learn how to write professionally, clearly, and concisely. Instead, my professor has spent the last month teaching the class what a pronoun is, what constitutes a participial phrase – we’ve even spent an entire class period discussing the make-up of a subject and a predicate. I’m appalled that my classmates were never taught these basic grammatical constructions at a lower educational level; these are rules that P-T teachers instilled in me since the third grade. By my senior year, I was enrolled in AP Literature and Composition, where I learned to thoroughly analyze classical literature, subject matter that was much more intense than what I am now being taught.
Thus, I think my abrupt introduction to the world of education outside of Penn-Trafford illustrates a clear point; the district is obviously working harder to educate its students than many other schools around the country. However, I believe that the Penn-Trafford teachers need to be recognized for their dedication to learning – they are going above and beyond the call of duty, when compared with their national peers. I left Penn-Trafford with all of the tools needed to move on to university – and more. The P-T teaching staff should be recognized for this, not just with thanks and congratulations, but with a salary that acknowledges their talent in their designated concentration of study and their commitment to the students. I understand the effects a pay raise will have on taxes; however, when living in the Penn-Trafford area, I was also locally employed and a taxpayer myself. I don’t like taxes anymore than the next person, but an increase is well worth it if it allows the district to remain competitive with neighboring schools in the hiring process.
I’d also like to make it clear that I’m not advocating all the views of the teacher’s union. I don’t think that the union’s leadership should be urging its members to perform actions that only hurt the students, especially the current seniors. However, I cannot remain neutral toward the issue as a whole; I owe too much to the certain faculty members who have played a role in my academic and personal development.
In conclusion, I urge the public to keep an open mind regarding a larger increase in salary, benefits, and compensation for the Penn-Trafford teachers – I, along with many other students, received so much guidance and knowledge from talented members of the staff, and I believe that the district’s educators should finally receive just compensation for their efforts.
by christine gnecco Wednesday, Nov. 02, 2005 at 5:05 AM
your argument represents only that the teachers are doing their job, and that your tuition is paying for a subpar education. i am attending chatham, and we spent the first two english classes UNlearning the sexxi format. as far as increasing the teachers pay, how many of your teachers did you learn from? and on another note, while working at burger king, i could serve a burger very quickly and politely, but i did not request a pay raise simply for doing my job. these teachers signed contracts agreeing to a salary. if they arent happy they can move to another district. these arent people who truly care about students or education.
by Jenny Paul Wednesday, Nov. 02, 2005 at 2:36 PM
Firstly, where's Chatham on the list of U.S. News' best universities? I'm not saying it's not a good school, but I don't think that it's a better school than BU, Penn State, Pitt, etc.
On the topic of SEXXXI (not sexxi) format, we "UNlearned" that in AP I -- two years ago (at P-T, may I add).
Would you really like me to list all of the teachers from whom I've learned? The list is extensive, but if you'd really like, I'll e-mail you a list of their names.
And, no they aren't under contract anymore; contract NEGOTIATIONS caused the strike.
by Ron Skena Wednesday, Nov. 02, 2005 at 3:09 PM
Good article. Something is missing at PT besides you. Students are missing school and our teachers are missing a contract.
its too bad you chose your school based on someone elses opinion of it, but thats your problem. anyway, isnt it a bit strange that we have to unlearn something we were taught in high school? in my personal experience, and in the experience of other successful students, refusing to use the sexxi format resulted in poor grades. however, using the same approach when writing more important documents, such as admissions essays, letters to embassies, etc., was certainly more successful than the embarrassment of a sexxi formated paper. why should we expand the pay of teachers who ignore good writing because they are either to lazy to grade without a cut and paste system, or who cannot recognize good writing when they see it? and by the way, most of the pt teachers are graduates of the pennsylvania state university system, schools that, i think you would agree, jenny, are hardly prestigous.
i would have to say that my education at Penn-Trafford was as rewarding as Jenny's was. Although i understand your frustrations with the english format of the "sexxxi" paragraphs, i would have to say that in the upper levels of english class you learn that sexxxi is not a "cut and paste" format, but it is a general guideline to concise, structured writing that completes your thought processes and arguments in a way that is understandable to the reader. I have been personally complimented on the structure of my writing by professors and other educators (including readers of my college essays) due to the GENERAL STRUCTURE of my writing which was based on the format tought at penn-trafford.
I feel that this is bullshit that us students have to pay the price for the teachers that are to selfish to handle there matters until after the school year is over. They should not be legally able to strike. They already have gone out once already this year, and have lessened our summer vacation. Also are summmer vacation is only three months to begin with. So these fucking teachers should just go fuck themselves. And here is a message to Shaun Rinier, you are an idiot. Why don't you just listen to the community or even some of the teachers you represent. They don't want this strike, you do. You selfish, inconsiderate prick. Why don't you allow an arbitrator to come in? Oh, I know why, the arbitrator will tell you that you're full of shit. So when you are done sticking your dick up the communities ass, start negotiating. And also, we don't have the lowest paid teachers in the area, look at this past week's issue of the Penn-Trafford Star. They have a complete chart that shows this. Thank you and good-bye.