More work, fewer resources – that’s life as a teacher these days. Teaching in the Arlington Independent School District is no different.
According to a survey conducted by the United Educators Association, teachers in AISD are less than satisfied with the district.
“Arlington used to be the premiere district of the county and one of the premiere districts in the state. Now, almost two-thirds of them would not recommend Arlington to their colleagues in other districts and 44-percent don't even want to go to school the next day,” said Larry Shaw, Executive Director of UEA, about the teachers who participated in their survey.
“From the very beginning, our superintendent and our board have been very sympathetic to hear their concerns because we know it has been a tough situation for everybody involved,” stressed Amy Casas, spokesperson for AISD.
The district says they've listened and tried to make things better. From big efforts, like a return to a teacher-favored block schedule after moving away from it, to the little things.
“We added more high speed copiers. It sounds like a simple thing but it's something that they expressed over and over at the high schools that was something they needed,” pointed out Casas.
Derik Hayenga, the UEA Chief of Staff, admits state budget cuts have presented challenges, but ultimately points to AISD’s approach to its employees.
“How do you encourage [teachers] when times are hard?” asked Hayenga. “Instead of yelling at them, writing them up, moving to termination on low level events, let’s see what we can do to make this job bearable in these tough times.”
There is at least one thing, though, that nearly everyone agrees on.
“The teacher is the most important element in this entire thing. Everything in the district is set up to support teachers in the classroom,” said Hayenga.
Casas agreed. “Teachers are the ones that have that one on one contact with our students and they're shaping the future and our district.”