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To the Montgomery County School Board,

Here are several ideas on how to retain our current teachers and recruit new teachers (it takes a village):

-School board: Do your job and visit and assess the needs of your schools and stop passing fear driven policies like mask mandates, CRT and liberal sex education.

-County Commissioners: Please provide extra financial support to the school board to retain our teachers with more competitive pay and bonuses.

-Teacher unions: Help eliminate teacher student debt, improve health care, retirement and help the administrators take a hard long at their roles in the teacher shortage.

-Administrators: Create a culture that makes it okay for teachers to only work their contract hours. The average teacher works for 11 hours a day and only get paid for seven. Let teachers take a mental health or burnout prevention day. Mentor and support new teachers. Stop having professional development classes on Saturday, school breaks and staff days. Stop having mandatory teacher meetings just for the sake of having meetings. Most importantly stop micromanaging culture.

-Parents, Grandparents and Legal Guardians: Our students aren’t always angels. It is human nature, students will tend to not be their best selves if there’s no accountability, structure, or someone holding them to a higher standard. Set that standard.

-Students: You are accountable for your actions and behavior. Show your teachers more respect, please.

-Teachers: Get rid of the unrealistic pressure you put on yourselves to ensure you're giving the students, parents, administrators, and the school your absolute best. Hold your students educationally accountable. Remember, students don’t need a perfect teacher; the students need a happy teacher. A happy teacher who’s gonna make them excited to come to school and grow a love for a lifetime of learning.

-To the public: Just a reminder, our teachers are not superheroes even though they do an amazing job with what little resources they have. We need to stop expecting them to do the impossible for an unlivable wage. They are only human.

Finally, in my humble opinion, the best way to support our students is to support their teachers, but not with added new techniques, professional development, more requirements or more workload, but with actual help that will allow the teachers to focus on the job that they love and that they are trained to do. Just let teachers teach.

Ascencion "Big Sarge" Lopez, Clarksville

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