Teachers work when school’s out
I heard a radio commentator mention how easy classroom teachers have it with their seven-hour weekdays and three-month summer vacations. Did he think that teachers only work when there are students in the classroom?
If this is the case, then this commentator must only work three hours a day because that is the only time that his listeners know he exists!
I channeled my thoughts further to the world of professional athletes and coaching. I only see professional football, basketball and baseball players and coaches on “game” days. So, that means they only work about three hours a day and, depending on the sport, less than six days a week? They also get long vacations.
I have witnessed teachers working many hours outside of class, including weekends and holiday periods, and “their playbook” is pretty large!
The playbook of a teacher contains weekly lesson plans, academic and physical needs of different students, progress reports of students about their skills in different subjects including writing portfolios, and other pertinent information about changes in the educational system. They also need to set aside time for parent conferences and extra-curricular activities such as coaching various groups.
Computers have also made teacher workdays longer because of educational information that they have to be familiar with and the emails they have to read and reply to. A lot of this “computer work" is done at home as well.
The “two-month” summer vacation is used mostly for planning and preparing classrooms for the upcoming year.
I’m sure professional players and coaches prepare for their competitions. I just don’t see it in person.
However, I would sure like to have the “severance package” they receive when they are unable to fulfill the contracts that they signed!
Bryan Fleming, Ashland
Right to work laws costly to workers
I’m writing in regards to the “right to work” law in Michigan that was approved Tuesday.
Michigan’s Republican governor, Rick Snyder, endorsed the bill so that the non-union employees would not have to pay the unions for the service of negotiating contracts and other services.
If not the unions, who will be negotiating for them? Who will be talking to their employers about their living wages and health benefits and pensions ?
I asked my wife if she knew what a “living wage” was? She said, “Not really.” I told her it’s a wage that you are paid that’s good enough for you to “live” comfortably on in your community that includes health care insurance and also a pension for when you retire.
Again I ask who is going to be negotiating your living wage for you if the “right to work” law is adopted in your state? I will tell you who: your employer! There will be no negotiating. They will simply tell you what they are going to pay you.
Under “right to work” you would be by yourself negotiating for yourself. How much do you think you will get for yourself by yourself?
If you’re blessed enough to have a good caring employer, then thank God for them for they are very few. If they were all that way, we wouldn’t need union help.
Do you want to turn back the clock to those days without any help whatsoever? A divided house will fall, and that’s what their plan is to divide the house to make us individualized.
It’s easier to tear one sheet of paper than a whole stack of papers. And that’s what they want.
Terry D. Sexton, Grayson
Christmas today celebrates greed
Sometimes I wonder if Jesus is pleased with the way we Christians celebrate his birthday. Is capitalism the economic system Jesus wills for his followers? I find it hard to believe Jesus would praise an economic system where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
It seems Wall Street's idea of a “successful Christmas” is determined by the exorbitant amount of money consumers spend during the Christmas shopping season.
The economy’s health that is so dependent on each year’s year-end shopping splurge in honor of Christ’s birth might cause Jesus to go to Wall Street the day after Thanksgiving to deliver this message: “You are again turning my house on this street into a den of thieves! You don’t care anything about me. Stop pretending you know me. I’'s all about padding your bank accounts. Feed the poor, then come and follow me.”
Those are bold words that would probably get Jesus crucified again. One has to wonder if Christmas in America is more a celebration of our greed than a celebration of our Creator-Savior's birth.
Paul L. Whiteley Sr., Louisville
Prepare healthy, humane feast
Santa’s belly is supposed to shake like a bowl full of jelly, but Uncle Earl could really benefit if there were a little less “bounce” in his step. So this Christmas, I’m preparing a healthy — and humane — feast featuring a savory vegan pot pie and vegan versions of traditional holiday favorites, including mashed potatoes, stuffing, and green bean bake.
Unlike turkey, ham and other animal-derived foods, vegan foods are cholesterol-free and generally low in saturated fat and calories.
So even if you “overindulge” a little at Christmas, you won’t have to spend the New Year trying to lose the holiday weight.
If you also want to enjoy a healthy, humane holiday feast, visit www.PETA.org for free vegan recipes and product suggestions. Your heart may not actually grow three sizes if you celebrate Christmas with a vegan feast, but you will feel good for making a compassionate, heart-healthy choice.
Heather Moore, PETA Foundation, Norfolk, Va.
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Teachers work when school’s out
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The next step
The people — or at least those who took the time to vote in Tuesday’s special election — have spoken. The issue of alcohol sales in Grayson has ben settled for at least the next three years.
In an outcome that surprised many, Grayson voters rather convincingly for the legal sale of alcohol in the city for the first time since 1937. With 511 voters answering in the affirmative to the question, “Are you in favor of alcoholic beverages in Grayson, Ky.?” as opposed to 393 voting “no,” the results were not even close. The measure passed in all seven of the city’s precincts.
Words of thanks
Thank you letter
In the Spade family, the vote was unanimous. Both 12-year-old Emma Spade, who will be a seventh-grader at Verity Middle School this fall, and Emma’s 11-year-old brother Will, who attends Hagar Elementary, both thought so highly of their dad — Ponderosa Elementary School principal Matt Spade — that they both wrote essays nominating him for the Ashland Breakfast Kiwanis Club’s annual Father of the Year award, presented annually on the Tuesday before Father’s Day.
An unselfish act
Even before the start of the recent Boyd County Health Department’s Bicycle Rodeo, Gavin Eckard said that if he won one of the two bicycle given away at the event, he would give his new bike to someone who needed it more than he did.
Crop still banned
When their colleagues in the U.S. Senate rejected their efforts to legalize industrial hemp production as part of the Senate farm bill, Kentucky’s two Republican senators — Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and freshman Rand Paul — reacted to the Senate refusal to include their hemp proposal in the bill by saying they would oppose the comprehensive farm bill.
It's not the breed
Lorie Akers wants the Ashland City Commissioner to adopt an ordinance banning pit bulls in the city. Since she claimed her Chihuahua Paco was attacked and killed by a neighbor’s pit bull while the little dog was chained in the back yard, it is understandable that Akers is worried that her children and other pets could be endangered by pit bulls.
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A necessary evil
The shifting of the tax burden that began when the Ashland Board of City Commissioners first adopted the payroll tax in the 1990s continues as the mayor and four elected commissioners prepare to increase the payroll tax from 1.5 to 2 percent while at the same time decreasing property taxes.
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