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#55 Strong

Many of you know that I am an out of state student from wild and wonderful West Virginia. I am very passionate and proud of my home state….well most of the time that is. Hopefully by now you also know that for the past 7 school days (going on 8) the teachers in all 55 counties in WV have been on strike. West Virginia is ranked as being the 48th lowest salaried state for teachers pay. The average salary of a WV teacher is $45,622 that is $12,731 less than the national average. Teachers simply aren’t able to meet ends meet with their low salaries and high cost health care. As a WV citizen I am absolutely not proud of the WV government, but I am proud of the teachers in my state.

Here are just a few reasons why I am proud of the teachers in WV:

1. They are standing up for themselves and the future of WV educators.

Teachers in the state of WV teach because that is what they love to do. There are plenty of teachers that have second jobs just, so they can continue doing what they love. Instead of teaching in a state that will pay them better they are fighting for the future of WV education. How can you not be moved and motivated by teachers fighting for what they love? Maybe one day the WV government can answer that for us.

2. They are showing the public and their students how to peacefully protest.

Instead of letting things get out of hand, when they easily could, teachers are leading by example. They are using their creativity to protest using signs that make a point. No one is getting hurt during these protest (other than Jim Justice’s ego). The teachers and community are using the power of presence throughout the entire state.

3. While they may not have the money for it, they are still buying their students food during the strike.

Sadly, a lot of students in the state of WV depend on schools for their main (or only in some cases) form of food and nourishment. While the teachers could just let that be someone else’s problem, they are still making sure their students are being taken care of and being fed. This means teachers are taking food out of their (not so full) pockets to feed our states kids. Our teachers care more than a lot of us know.

4. They aren’t giving up.

There has been rain, there has been snow, it has been rather cold, and yet there are still teachers protesting every day. 7 days of standing in the elements to stand up for what they believe. I have seen pictures and post on social media from the same teachers standing outside to stand up for themselves every day, all day.

I want to thank all of my past teachers for all of their hard work and dedication. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if they weren’t there to teach me and guide me along the way. I sincerely hope that the WV government can get it together and do what is right for our teachers because they truly deserve it.

Check out some of my favorite signs brought to you by some of my favorite teachers.

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