The cost of effective educators


Dani Fischer

Social studies teacher Mel Trotier enjoys walking taco at the Friday, May 11 teacher appreciation taco bar.

The number of headlines, activist voices and districts on strike is growing with each passing day as more and more teachers across the nation protest for better pay and benefits. Seeking what they view as a more fair compensation for the work they put into educating America’s next generation, the walkouts and political rumblings are reverberating across the nation—ironically, as Colorado launches its first teacher strike in 24 years, we enter national teacher appreciation week.

With a table at lunch to write thank-you notes that several teachers proudly display on their classroom walls, lighthearted activities such as a taco bar on May 11 and the senior-faculty basketball game and fair pay, West does everything it can to make sure that our teachers know how much we value them. After all, they help us to find the passion and information that enables us to pursue our dreams, so the least we can do is take a week and take a moment to tell them all that they have done for us.

Parkway as a district also does its best to ensure that our teachers are valued for all that they are worth, with a median teacher salary of $60,900. West’s average is even higher, at $68,250. Sitting more than $20,000 over the Missouri average, our community does everything that it can to show its appreciation for our educators and makes sure that they get the wages that other places have not yet realized should be the standard.

Our teachers are vital leaders in our growth both as people and as students, taking time to sponsor our clubs, coach our sports and just have a talk when we need one. Academic help is constantly accessible, especially through our ASCs and their incredibly knowledgeable staff, and opportunities for extracurricular growth are always present. In everything from tennis to orchestra to robotics, there is a teacher at West who can help you learn more and find the place where you belong.

This week, take a moment to stop by a favorite teacher’s classroom and thank them for what they have done. In this period of national turmoil, it is worth pausing to reflect on how fortunate we are to be in a place like this, to have teachers who go above and beyond for us and who do not have to worry about making ends meet. West is not the best just because of its students, it takes an amazing faculty working tirelessly alongside them to make it that way.