Teachers need district’s support
I am a classroom teacher in Roswell and I used to teach in Clovis.
I am writing to respond to insensitive comments made by Clovis Municipal Schools Superintendent Rhonda Seidenwurm during a Legislative Education Study Committee meeting held in Roswell.
She said, “…I don’t have a strong teacher union in Clovis so I’m not afraid of being run out of town; but I think that if we’re going to continue to give teacher raises, we need to require more time (days) for it…”
I honestly feel that Seidenwurm would like for her teachers to just work for free and not be compensated for what they do. I am speculating she earns a six figure salary and has no idea about the amount of work that actually takes place when teaching the children of New Mexico.
As a hard-working and dedicated teacher, I understand what happens in the trenches. I am appalled she would publicly state she is not afraid of being run out of town because she does not have a strong teacher union there in Clovis.
Instead of being a bully, she should support staff and organizations that assist employees. Without teachers and support staff, districts could not operate.
Seidenwurm should be lobbying for more state funding for the Clovis district, but not at the expense of her staff. I would think she would want more for the employees than more work days.
Teachers and public school employees in general are grossly underpaid for the services they provide. They always work more than their contract calls for and most do it because they love what they do.
Clovis teachers and staff need to stand together, stop being afraid to ask for better working conditions and let their voice be heard. It is a powerful thing
Additional days carry pricetag
On April 13, several New Mexico superintendents were privileged to address the Legislative Education Study Committee regarding a proposed new funding formula.
I talked about the need in Clovis for counselors and nurses on every campus every day, programs for 3- and 4-year olds who need and want such programs, the expansion of advanced placement and gifted offerings, after-school programs for our middle schools, and a million-dollar price tag to extend teacher and educational assistant contracts by six days, which is a requirement under the new funding formula guidelines.
When one senator asked if five or six additional days were enough, when every country with whom the U.S. is competing has at least a 200-day school year, one person said she didn’t know how the unions would feel about an extended school year. (We have about 180-day school years now.)
A fellow superintendent said he believed we needed 20 extra days, and I agreed.
In response to the comment regarding teacher unions, I stated that we don’t have strong unions in Clovis, but I wasn’t afraid to say that our teachers in the United States are not so much underpaid, as they are under employed.
I went on to say we have an incredible resource in our teachers, and yet we pay them as part-time employees.
The whole point of the conversation was not that teachers need to work more for the same pay, but they need to be paid for additional days — an expensive proposition the new formula would help to address.
I well understand why Jennifer Railsback would have a personal ax to grind with Clovis Municipal Schools and with me. However, I find it hard to believe she would have so misconstrued my remarks.
Clovis Municipal Schools superintendent