Over the years, I have accomplished many things that I can honestly say I am proud of--I’m proud to be a mother to two adventurous boys (7 years of my life); I’m proud to be getting ready to celebrate my wedding anniversary (9 years of my life); I’m proud to be a middle and high school librarian in an amazing small school in Western North Carolina (13 years of my life); and finally, I’m proud to be a Teaching Fellow. I have been a Teaching Fellow for HALF of my life. I am so proud of this accomplishment that I achieved when I was 18 years old. I was just starting my “adult” life and I knew exactly what I wanted to do, which was to work with the students of North Carolina. I have dedicated my life to this endeavor. In my years of working with high school students, I have met many of the younger generations who feel this same way. A very grateful senior at my high school just received word that she will be receiving the scholarship for next year. And now, this wonderful opportunity that I was given is being ripped away. I do not understand how anyone could think that this action is a good idea.
By being a Teaching Fellow, I was introduced to so much more than what the average education student experiences--and I feel I can truly say this because my college roommate was also an education major, but not a Teaching Fellow. I had extra classes in education, was introduced to the classroom much earlier than during student teaching which is when most future teachers step into the classroom, and had a network of fellow educators to lean on. After graduating, when I applied for jobs I had that extra gold star of being one of the “best and brightest” because of being a Teaching Fellow.
With all the cuts to people who are currently in education, how can you already punish those that wish to become teachers? Please fight to keep the North Carolina Teaching Fellows program...future generations of students will thank you.