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It’s not the easiest of times for my mom. Long an elementary school teacher, my mom’s gotten accustomed to being switched around in grades in recent years. It’s what seems to happen every autumn, sure as leaves fall. This past summer, my mom started getting her first grade classroom ready in August, weeks before school was due to start as she always does, only to find out a few weeks into the school year that she’d be teaching a split class of two other grade levels. I guess it’s a little easier than if her school had wanted her to instantly become a Spanish tutor, but I’m still not please.

I don’t know if my mom had any say in her sudden transition, any real chance to voice reasonable concerns. She transitioned in the fall and now stays until 5 or 6 every evening at her class. She tells me it’s like she’s teaching two classes, with none of the standard time in class a teacher normally gets to correct papers while their students are working diligently on something. Far as I know, there’s no homework helper or tutor to make her life easier. When my mom’s not teaching one half of the class, she’s teaching the other.

Worse, my mom isn’t being compensated any differently for all the extra work that she’s doing. With the economy struggling as it is, teachers are essentially being asked to suck it up and pull through.

My mom could be settling and offering a halfhearted effort, but that’s not her, not now, not ever. I have to admit I admire my mom for her integrity and willingness to put her children first. I suppose it should come as no surprise, really. She’s been this way all my life.


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