Future looks bleak

I recently retired after having taught for 35 years. I feel compelled to share my concern for the future of teaching in New Hampshire. Many educators, like myself, who entered the profession for the love and art of teaching, are now discouraging young adults from doing the same. Why? New Hampshire’s public school funding is sorely in need of revision.

For example, unlike other professions, it is difficult for a veteran teacher in New Hampshire (unless in a critical area) to seek employment in another district. Instead of valuing experience, the issue becomes a monetary one, whereby veteran teachers are “encouraged” to retire early, saving the district money. It is a very odd mind set and disrespectful to the profession.

Additionally, public educators belong to the New Hampshire Retirement System and, unlike many other states, no longer receive a medical subsidy benefit. Although employers are required to offer continued health care insurance, it is at a group rate that can be costly for the individual.

Lastly, in the district from which I retired, administrators attempt to manipulate paraprofessionals’ – one who works closely with a certified classroom teacher to provide additional support, particularly for those with special needs – total weekly hours to avoid having to contribute to the New Hampshire Retirement System on their behalf. The service of paraprofessionals should be applauded and supported as they are a vital component of the overall educational process.

Public school teaching has become an extremely stressful profession, which I am afraid will not attract and maintain the talents of young professionals.