Entrans Tech

Teach

Safety and a sense of security has been a consistent dilemma for school employees in delivering quality education. This obstacle has been highlighted by the increased complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, more than ever, teachers, aides and school employees are considering their basic needs for safety. This sense of security is essential for sustained happiness as we all have universal needs in human development. The pandemic, coupled with the pre-existing crumbling infrastructure of safety and security, caused fundamental changes in our education system which we will have to address if we are to provide quality education to our students. My experience as a social worker has given me the practice of helping people of varying viewpoints to understand one another and to facilitate an effective response to the safety needs of our children with our community. We must consistently seek to find creative solutions that will help to establish communication systems that connect faculty, staff, administrators, and security personnel with the children, caregivers, and greater community. We need to invest in digital safety tools and technology to be able to decrease incidents and more closely monitor potential devastating events.

A second issue involves pre-existing disparities among students. These disparities include a significant lack of necessary resources amongst students, homes that do not have consistent internet access, and the proper familial support needed to best realize educational progress. While some students may have the ability to come to school equipped with a comfortable home environment and all of the tools necessary to succeed in our education system, many are struggling with societal issues. These issues can revolve around socioeconomic status, systemic racism, students with disabilities, and institutional inequities. These inequities increase the community’s mortality rate and heighten exposure to violent activity. Furthermore, these challenges impact affordable housing, and negatively impact our community’s overall health and wellness. All of us must work hard to ensure teachers are supported in teaching facts, equity, and inclusion.

Another dilemma is the provisions of fair wages and adequate benefits for teachers and staff, many of whom have experienced a seemingly insurmountable amount of stress and obstacles during the COVID-19 pandemic. If elected, I would prioritize initiatives to keep and attract highly devoted teachers and pay them fair wages with attractive benefits so they are empowered to face a variety of challenges as they arise. The right to collectively bargain is essential for teachers to obtain the compensation and benefits required to have a thriving school district. I have personal experiences and relationships with teachers who love what they do and are committed to seeing their students thrive, but are leaving GRPS for other school districts or leaving the profession because they are not being supported enough. As a member of the GRPS school board, I will continue to foster relationships and elevate the voices of educators to the wider community.