Give teachers deserved respect and thanks

In the news from around the country there have been ample examples of educators and support staff going to the extreme of striking in order to gain the attention of people in power about the poor working conditions they find themselves in. These are not problems in far away states and school districts. It is illegal for school personnel in Michigan to strike, so just because there are no strikes going on here does not mean all is well. The Teachers, Instructional Aides, Secretaries, Custodians, Kitchen Staff, Bus Drivers and others working for Alpena Public Schools have had to deal with a large decrease in pay and benefits over the years; a lack of resources and supplies for classrooms, work spaces and offices; an increase in workload and duties; being told to do things that may not be what is best for students; and an increasing lack of respect from some administrators, parents and students. Moral is low. Despite all of this, there is no lack of these same people routinely going above and beyond what is expected to provide the young people of this area with the best school experience possible. Parents, students, and people in this community, please take some time before the end of the school year to thank the staff members of Alpena Public Schools. Something as simple as a verbal thank you, a short thank you note, or even an email (all email addresses can be found on the APS website) expressing your appreciation for their hard work and dedication will lift their spirits more than you may realize. After all, without these dedicated people, what kind of community for our youth would we have?

Judy Cooper

AHS German Teacher, retired