Without public education, society would be divided between educated elite and illiterate underclass

To the editor:

I am Chloe McRobbie and I am a public school teacher at West Noble Middle School. I work as a server at Country Heritage Winery and I also coach volleyball and softball for extra income.

I had a 4.0 GPA throughout high school and college. I won the History Education department award at my university. In the 60 years of Trinity Christian College’s existence, I was the first and only student to graduate early with a degree in education. I had one of the highest scores on my edTPA, a teacher readiness test that you must pass to graduate, all while student teaching at Chicago Public Schools.

After considering my accomplishments as a young adult, my friends and even some of my family members tried convincing me to pursue another career. They would say things like, “Chloe, you are too smart to be a teacher,” or “Teachers don’t make any money, Chloe,” or “I just wish you would’ve chosen a career where your talent could be used,” or “You are so successful, why waste it on being a teacher?”

After considering these words from people I valued the most, I had to remind myself why teaching is my calling and why education is important.

I believe most people understand why education is necessary, but I don’t think people value the purpose and effects of education. Education shapes the future in every way possible. Education is necessary for society to function. Without public education, society would be divided between the educated elite and the illiterate underclass. Without education, no other career could be possible.

I believe people neglect the field of teaching because they don’t understand the role teachers possess. Sometimes, teachers are the only strong role models children have in their life when growing up. Teachers help develop children academically, emotionally and socially.

Teaching is much more than forcing kids to read a boring textbook and grading how well they have memorized the information in that textbook. We help students understand, interpret, and apply knowledge in order to be successful members of society and human beings. As a young teacher, I have already developed great relationships with many of my students that I will cherish for the remainder of my life.

As a teacher, my hours don’t stay within 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. In order to be present in the classroom with my students, grading and planning has to take place outside instruction. I spend hours after school and on the weekends planning lessons, grading assignments, researching new and effective teaching strategies, reading books and articles about how to teach students with trauma-induced backgrounds or an unhealthy homelife. My job is more than the surface-level perspective most people have of teachers.

With all this being considered, I want people of my community to understand and value the importance of my job as a teacher. Despite all of the other careers I could have pursued, despite all of the other salaries I could see in my checking account, I chose to be a teacher and I love my profession.

As a proud teacher, I want to do what is best for my students. Other teachers feel the same way. Standardized testing such as NWEA and ILearn, lack of funds for transportation, field trips, school lunches, teaching supplies, and insufficient teacher compensation are all things that are preventing teachers and others involved in education from best serving our students.

As a teacher, taxpayer and citizen, I support increased funding for public education, and I hope my fellow community members will, too. #RedforEd

Chloe McRobbie

Kendallville

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