While I appreciate the community value of the Best Of WNC and the shout-out from the Xpress readers in my school community, I am writing to relinquish the title of Best Teacher, because I know who the real Best Teacher is.
I teach at a public charter school. While my school grapples with the low per-student allotment and the dismal state teacher salary scale, I know that it is our children and teachers in our district public schools who are taking the biggest hit from the budget passed by the extremists in the North Carolina General Assembly and the governor's office.
I want district public school teachers to know that public charter school teachers are standing with you. Your students are our students. Teaching assistants are a necessity. Small class sizes are a necessity. Compensation for a hard-earned master's degree is essential. A state government that offers underpaid teachers $500 of taxpayer money to sign away their due process rights is an aberration.
Xpress readers, the Best Teacher in WNC and elsewhere in our great state in 2013-2014 is the teacher in your local public school who will not be demoralized and who does everything he or she can to meet the needs of every child, with less help, less money and more demands than ever before.
The Best School is the public school down the street or up the road. Our Best Administrators are struggling with being required to implement misguided decisions in the least-damaging way they can find while striving to sustain morale in their schools.
I know that [Mountain Moral Monday speaker] Rev. William Barber is right about the temporary nature of the current state political ideology, because we will go forward together and the power of our unity will be self-evident. But right now, as school opens this year, I encourage people of all persuasions to go to our city and county public schools and say, "Thank goodness you are here. What do you need? How can I help?”
— Chris Weaver