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Many, including Gov. Bevin, don’t understand how hard teaching is

By ELAINE WILSON-REDDY

Contributing columnist

Now that the primaries are over, we know the general election for governor will be between son-of-career-politician Andy Beshear, and carpetbagger-Trump-sycophant-teacher-hater Matt Bevin. It’s no secret who I’m backing.

Bevin’s teacher-hating stumps me. He is where he is because of teachers. He has a bachelor of arts degree from Washington and Lee University. His degree is in East Asian Studies. Remember when he disparaged the Kentucky high ed community and said the state doesn’t need more French Literature majors?

“There will be more incentives to electrical engineers than French literature majors. There just will,” Bevin (left) told reporters, the Associated Press reported. “All the people in the world that want to study French literature can do so, they are just not going to be subsidized by the taxpayer.”

He literally went to school on the taxpayer-funded ROTC scholarship. I wonder how you say hypocrite in Japanese?

He’s called Kentucky teachers thugs, selfish, and had the temerity to claim children were being sexually abused because teachers missed school to attend a rally in Frankfort.

If it weren’t for teachers in his life, he would not have the ability to spew his ignorant hatred. Do his former teachers shake their collective heads when they hear the things he says?

This is the last week of school for Danville Schools. Teachers have taken students to movies, the park, on walking field trips, and have endured field day. This past Tuesday, eighth-grade teachers moved their students in small groups to Centre throughout the day. The students presented their Gateway projects. The schedule was tight and depended on all moving parts to function as planned. This was no small or easy task.

Teachers at Hogsett had to pack up their classrooms this time last year to move to the Jenny Rogers building so Hogsett could undergo a complete renovation. Teachers, students, instructional assistants and other school workers were crammed into the JRE building like sardines. There were five or six learning stations in the library alone.

These same teachers are packing up right now to move back to the Hogsett Waveland Campus. If you have ever moved, you know how stressful and frustrating the process can be. Throw in teaching 26 active, energetic, anxious, question-asking six-year olds who cannot be ignored, who must be kept safe and accounted for. Welcome to the easy life of teaching.

School is hard. Every single human, child or adult, has his or her own unique personality. They all show up carrying the baggage from home. Too many children come to school hungry and stressed over being neglected at home. Many, many, many of our children do not live with either biological parent. Grandparents, aunties, friends, foster parents try to make up for the loss, but that loss is permanent.

Teachers and other adults come to school worried about their own children and families. They come to work when their child is sick. They come to work when their spouse is abusive. They show up and teach when their parent is dying.

Friends, being in education is not easy. Too many former students think that what they saw when they were students is all there is to teaching. I once heard a candidate for Danville school board say he knew he could walk into a high school history class and start teaching that day. The arrogance behind that statement exemplifies the perspective of many. It is ignorant and disrespectful.

Teachers are warriors. They fight tooth and nail for their students. When budgets are cut, they come up with creative ways to make up for the loss. They want their students to be the best they can be. They hurt when their students hurt and celebrate their students’ successes.

For all of Bevin’s fancy education, he says some of the most ignorant, disrespectful things about our public school educators. If you can read, many teachers made it happen for you. If you know your colors, can write a decent sentence, can count your money, and function in your job, it’s because a cadre of teachers made the information available for you to absorb.

Bevin must be an embarrassment to his teachers. He has no business being re-elected. Kentucky struggles because too many people don’t value education. If Bevin is re-elected, our state will continue to slide back into the primordial ooze of ignorance.

G. Elaine Wilson-Reddy, JD, is a professional educator, consultant and advocate. She lives in Danville.