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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Teachers' Hard Work Deserves Respect*

I'd like to express my profound gratitude to those who have chosen the noblest profession---teaching, the "mother" of all other professions.

They are underpaid and yet indefatigable. For their professionalism and dedication, they are unsung heroes. They toil day and night so our children will learn and become successful.

They go to college and become experts in some academic field and then they go through rigorous student-teaching training and acquire the necessary professional certifications. They participate in regular professional development and keep up with the latest trends in education. They collaborate-teach with other teachers to share knowledge and skills.

Without teachers, we wouldn't be who we are today. Our teachers have played pivotal roles in shaping our lives. They are, undeniably, partners in building our future through our children.

With all the things going on in Suffolk, the City Council and School Board should carefully examine their priorities regarding the city budget. Our children's education should be near the top of the list of our priorities. This means we should pay teachers more---a competitive salary commensurate with their education and experience.

Teachers deserve a pay raise for all the hard work and for all the humiliation, disrespect and unpleasant treatment they receive from problem students and others.

Teaching is not an easy job, especially today. They deal with a lot of students with different backgrounds and personalities. Yet, teachers do what they love to do.

There are times when teachers become psychologists, guidance counselors, doctors, nurses, police officers, mothers or fathers in the classroom. Most do more than what is expected of them professionally.

They also volunteer for extracurricular activities at school. Yet they still find time to help students pass their classes, the SOL (Standard of Learning) and other benchmark tests, and move on toward graduation.

Let's give Suffolk's teachers a pay raise so they won't seek greener pastures elsewhere. They deserve every extra money and status.

Here's a poetic tribute to teachers:

Teachers are Educators

Teachers are educators
taught, trained and tested
dedicated, motivated, liberated
caring, giving and loving
enduring, forgiving, interesting
intellectual, philosophical and social
listening, speaking and thinking
experimenting, discovering, researching
enlightening, encouraging and inspiring
hoping, praying and wishing
for the best in all of our students.

-Chris A. Quilpa, a North Suffolk resident, is a retired U.S. Navy veteran who maintains a blog at onebuddingpoet/ Email him at

*Published in the printed edition of the award-winning Suffolk News-Herald, Sunday, April 20, 2014. For more information, visit

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