The General Assembly convenes in Raleigh, North Carolina, on May 16.

Stuart Egan writes that teachers will be there to meet them. 

On May 16th, teachers in North Carolina will begin to make a stand for their profession and the state’s public schools.

What these teachers and advocates want Raleigh’s lawmakers to understand is that there is a difference between “rewarding” teachers and respecting the teaching profession and the public schools.

A reward is something that is given in recognition of someone’s service, effort, and/or achievement. One could get a reward for doing well on a project or completing a task. Some could look at a bonus check as a reward for accomplishing a goal.

However, NC’s teachers want more than a reward from the General Assembly. They want respect for all of our public school teachers and the public schools which serve a vast majority of our children.

To have respect is to have a deep feeling of admiration for someone because of his abilities, qualities, and value. It is understanding that someone is important and should be taken seriously.

In this highly contested election year, many will be fooled by lawmakers wanting to “reward” the teaching profession with bills that might offer more pay or actually fund a mandate and mistake that for respect. Respect goes much deeper.

That is why teachers and advocates will march and rally on May 16th when the NCGA reconvenes because it reminds policies makers that there are many stark differences between rewards and respect.