Staff Editorial: Thank you BSM teachers

When BSM unveiled its new budget plan for the 2013-2014 school year, the decrease in budget caused many to question its impact on the entire school community. Specifically teachers, who will be forced to teach more hours for roughly the same pay as well as lose some valued coworkers, will be largely affected by this change. Before changes come into place, we as the Knight Errant staff would like to thank the entire faculty and staff for their dedication to this school community.

By choosing to work at a Catholic school, teachers are already paid less than their public school counterparts. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school teachers make approximately $13,000 more than a private school teacher despite similar workloads and classes. Our teachers choose to work at BSM even though they could be making more money at other schools––proving their dedication to this community and us as students.

At the same time, teachers also do an enormous amount of work outside of the classroom to prepare for class. While students complain about homework, teachers have to prepare lessons for each class that they teach everyday as well as grade homework, tests, papers, and quizzes to get them back to students as soon as possible. Their workload goes way beyond the typical nine to five workday, but unlike us, they can’t forget to do their homework.

When teaching five classes a semester, teachers have three periods to prepare for their other classes. These hours, when looking to the amount of work teachers put in for each class, provide vital time for planning. However, with the addition of BSM hour and the eight-period day, many teachers now find their prep periods spent working with students in the writing center or the math resource center, giving us even more of their time.

This one-on-one assistance does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. We thoroughly appreciate teachers’ availability during their free periods to work with students and give them individual attention that can help enhance learning outside of the classroom. By building relationships during these times, teachers foster a desire to learn that can’t be taught from a Smart Board.

Teachers aren’t only available during the school day, however. Teachers get to school early to work with students who are struggling with concepts or cramming for hard tests and often stay after school for hours allowing students to do homework in their rooms or make up tests. As this is outside of their traditional workday, teachers have no obligation to make this time for students, but they want to.

Most importantly, the real factor that differentiates teachers from BSM versus teachers at other schools is their dedication to students outside of the classroom. Teachers regularly attend sporting events and ensure each student’s fullness in body, mind, and spirit. They ask students how they are doing and are flexible when students need extra time for assignments due to outside situations.

Next year, because teachers will have to teach five classes one semester and six the other, teachers will be working harder while not getting an adequate pay increase for their extra workload. This will increase the number of students each teacher teaches, multiplying their work both inside and outside of the classroom. Coupled with the continued need for teachers in both the math resource center and the writing center, teachers will be even more stretched as they work to complete their daily assignments.

Similarly, BSM will need to cut some staff next year to fit within the school budget. Other teachers may also choose to look for other employment due to the increased workload. While we wish that all teachers could keep teaching at BSM, we acknowledge the struggles that these decisions will cause for many. We wish you luck as you move on to other opportunities and hope that you remember your years at BSM fondly.

No matter whether teachers will be at another school next year or stay with the BSM community, we thank each and every teacher for the hard work and dedication they put into every class and every student. Without your motivation and assistance we would not have such an excellent education, and without your sacrifices we would not be the same school community that we are today. Thank you.