This Teacher Tearfully Resigned At A Livestream Where Students Were Watching And Her Speech Is So Important
"Teaching is like a bad marriage. You never get your needs met, but you stay in it for the kids."
After 21 years of teaching gifted students, Amanda Coffman resigned during a livestream for a school board meeting last week:
Amanda told BuzzFeed that the Shawnee Mission teachers in Kansas had been working without contracts since June of last year. "On January 30th, the school board passed a three-year unilateral contract. Teachers had until February 14th to either accept the contract, reject it and work under the terms of the previous contract, or resign," explained Amanda.
Amanda said that several years ago — before she worked for the Shawnee Mission district — severe educational funding cuts were made in Kansas. "The teachers had agreed to change their workload from teaching five classes per day to six classes per day. This year, the Kansas legislature was able to restore some of the funding to schools and the teachers wanted a commitment that the money would be used to hire teachers to reduce workload and class size. The district did not feel that they had sufficient funds to make that sustainable."
Continuing, Amanda went on to explain that she felt like the district administration was not willing to discuss things that affected the teachers' work life and career trajectory. "Teachers felt strongly that the district was attempting to silence them by issuing the three-year contract. Effectively, they would not have to negotiate with teachers over anything until the Spring of 2022. I have felt increasingly like my voice is not valued in the district over the last few years, and this public campaign to silence us all was the last straw for me."