As a young educator with a master's degree in teaching from a well-known university, I would like to express how horrified I am at the way teachers in Bozeman are treated by some of the naïve individuals in this community. I arrived here a year ago and immediately became very involved in the education field. I have substitute taught for more than 150 days this year as well as involved myself in many other volunteer activities. The most underpaid professionals in our country (according to years of schooling) are continually bashed and belittled, while continuing to love and teach your children.

I have had the opportunity to interact with educators from all over the county, and I can say without a doubt that Bozeman's teachers are a gift that cannot be replaced. They are innovative and highly educated, with tools that match up with the best in their field. I have been a part of staff meetings and/or seen collaboration in almost every school in the Bozeman School District, and I am continually in awe of the effort to reach every single student.

Each child is accounted for in this district. Each child! On lunch breaks, all the teachers can talk about is how to be better for their students. They work incredibly long hours, well past their "contracted" time. They pour their heart and soul into what they do, and get paid half what teachers in other states make.

Bozeman, your teachers care about the next generation so much. They are just as much professionals as judges, lawyers and doctors. I, like many other educators, have a lot of student loan debt so I can teach. Teachers deserve your respect more than anything. After all, how is it that you are even able to read this?

Skyberg Thoreson




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