325. That is the number of staff members within just Spokane Public Schools who were told on Wednesday that they were being laid off.
I am a freshman at North Central High School, and just because I am not a teacher doesn’t mean this does not affect me as well. When one of my teachers told us that she would be let go at the end of the year, the class immediately burst into tears. Not a dry eye was in the room. Our minds went back to all of the fun times we had in that class. All the lessons we learned, the games we played, and the laughs we shared.
And all of those memories because of one person. A person who was able to unite us, from all walks of life. A teacher who has that impact on their students in not only a year, does not deserve this and shouldn’t have this happen. They have families they have to provide for and take care of.
When I heard the news I decided that I would not sit by any longer and wait for someone else to take action when I had a voice myself. A teacher should not be measured by how they can impact a student’s brain, but by how they impacted the student’s life. And that is what so many of the teachers who have been laid off have done.
I am not naive and I am not ignorant, I know why this is happening: Poor decisions have been made with our school funding and because of this, I am losing my teachers. The teachers who care so much for us. Not for what they are teaching, but for who is learning. The teachers who are there for more than when we need help on homework. Those teachers are the good ones. They are the ones we will listen to and respect because they do the same for us. They are the ones we will learn the most from because they teach us more than they have to. They go above and beyond for us.
When our teacher told us she wouldn’t be returning next year, she said what she was most upset about wasn’t not being paid, but not being able to see us and have fun with us every day. She was more worried about who our teacher would be next year than what she would do for a job next year. That is what a teacher should be. Their worth to us is not what score they help us get on a standardized test, it is the how they help us become better people and better examples to the people around us. When they can accomplish that, I know I have had a good teacher.
My friends and I decided that we were going to speak out as loud as we could about this issue. We decided to let people know that we care and we will not let this happen. We will raise our voices so that there is no choice but to listen. We will continue to fight until the fight is won. We care about our teachers and we need to come together to let them know that. They have influenced so many of our lives.
What is happening is not fair to them or to us. We need these teachers. Think back in your lives, to when you were in school. Or maybe you still are. When you think of influential teachers, who is the first one that pops into your mind? We all think of different people, but they all have the same things in common. They care about us, and they let us know that they do. A teacher has a special role in all of our lives, they shape us into good people and teach us the things we need to know to succeed in life. They were there for us, now let’s do the same for them.
We will not back down from this issue. Please join us in our fight for our teachers. I have a voice and so do you. Let’s come together and let our voices be heard. #saveourstaff
Mikayla Fox is a freshman and vice president of the class of 2022 at North Central High School.
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