DISCLAIMER: The opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed by the author of this article do not necessarily reflect the views, beliefs, and attitudes of Cameron Mills Radio.
The dispute over the Kentucky Pension System and Senate Bill 1(SB1) has become a hotbed discussion around the state, and many conflicting stories have confused the public. The stories blur the lines enough that those in the private sector are led to believe that if something is not “fixed” soon, the burden of the pensions of the 70,000+ teachers in the state of Kentucky will fall upon them. That is just not true. Supporting SB1 takes the money from the people that help foster the next generation and eventually will cause good educators to retire or leave the profession altogether.
As a teacher in the state of Kentucky, I have grown weary of reading/hearing that those in my field are selfish, willfully ignorant, uninformed, and other disparaging adjectives from the very people that we helped elect to our state government. I am exhausted from hearing the public belittle our profession and our rights that were promised through an inviolable contract. I am emotionally drained from the large group of people stating that teachers are “all about the money” and we don’t care about the students we teach. (Context: I made less than $40,000 last year, and I have two bachelors and a Masters- which is mandatory in the state of Kentucky to continue teaching) I am worn out from reading the stream of posts from others who claim that they know what is best for my colleagues and me. I am TIRED.
The public has no idea what we do day in and day out. They do not realize the amount of our own money we have spent on their children. The public has no clue how much time that is taken from our own families so that we may spend it with their children. The public has no inkling what it is to be a teacher in the turbulent world we live in today. The public is not aware of what it is like to tell your children that you would take a bullet for someone else’s child and could leave them without a Mommy or a Daddy. The public cannot imagine the many sleepless nights that we lay away thinking about their children let alone our children. The public hasn’t the notion how many tears we have shed because we know what kind of situation some of our students have at home and we cannot do anything about it. The public has no idea how much their children are truly loved. They have no idea.
Only a few professions give so much and get so little in return. I can think of police officers and other first responders, but even they receive recognition for their service. I have as many years in my education as a doctor has. Yet, it holds little value to the very people that should value it the most. I am proud to say that I teach in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky and that my children attend school here. I love my profession, and I am TIRED of having to continually defend its importance.