Teachers deserve appreciation | AspenTimes.com

Teachers deserve appreciation

Anticipating upcoming teacher appreciation week, and in light of Colorado’s poor school funding and teacher pay, one of our teachers said, “I don’t want treats and trinkets, I want awareness and action.” Still, we think that appreciation is important–perhaps now more than ever. Therefore, the Roaring Fork Schools have dedicated May as Staff Appreciation Month.

There is no question that the people who operate our schools–working in our classrooms, kitchens, buses, offices, or even behind the scenes–are our most important asset. We have more than 1,000 staff members, and each individual plays a crucial role in our mission. Our staff members do so much more than teach, prepare meals, maintain spaces, or transport students: they inspire and motivate; they care for and fix; they change lives.

In other industries, hard work is rewarded with more pay; schools, however, don’t work that way, both due to our funding structure and a culture that recognizes that everybody is working hard every day. Because the school funding situation in Colorado is so dire, none of our staff members earn what they should–especially in such a wealthy state. So now, more than ever, we appreciate those who work so hard in our schools to make a difference for our students and communities.

In support of our staff, we are asking community members to stay involved and aware of the funding situation and to do what they can to bring about change: contact your legislator; sign a petition; write a letter. In addition, remember to say thanks. Personally, and on behalf of the board of education and leadership of the school district, I want to thank our staff members publicly for all that they do to make the Roaring Fork Schools a great place to learn and work.

Rob Stein

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