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To fix our schools? It requires commitment by all page 2
Jennifer Wineinger's op-ed column on the keys to school education: commitment to community and education.

Date published: 11/25/2012


Teachers may love their students, but teachers must make a living, too. Not giving teachers a raise (except to cover the 1 percent increase in teachers' contribution to their own retirement funds) in more than four years is a clear indication that the community does not value the very people who spend more than seven hours a day in direct contact with their most beloved possession--their children.

Educators do not teach for the money, but we must support our own families--or we must move on to communities who recognize our worth.

I have ownership in my community: My family and I live here, we play here, we pray here, we are residents of Stafford County and have been for more than 10 years. I am a product of public schools--high school, college, graduate school. After being an Army officer, I have taught in public schools, private schools, community colleges. I have even homeschooled my children.

The answer to education's woes is not shuttling students from one school to another, because caring teachers will not stay in the schools without ownership from students, parents, and the community. Teachers stay committed to students when the children, the parents, and the community are committed to joint ownership in student success.

Stop blaming and start accepting your part in our future.

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Jennifer Wineinger is a teacher at Colonial Forge High School and a resident of Stafford County.