In response to a letter published June 1, “No substitute doctors,” I would like to point out that my teacher contract calls for a seven-hour work day. However, I work an average of nine hours a day.

Teacher workshops are workdays. Weekends and summers, teachers are typically working second jobs, taking classes, coaching, participating on committees and revisiting curriculum.

I have been out sick twice this year. Over the past three years, I have not been able to meet with my physician. She has been out due to illness, maternity leave and caring for her child. Each time, I have been provided with a “substitute” doctor. People from all professions reschedule or request another person to represent them when they can’t attend.

There are perks to every career. Nurses have job security, a good salary and the ability to schedule hours to their liking. Sometimes I have more time with my family than people in other professions do. Teachers are not the only people with this luxury, as it is not uncommon for people with state jobs to have six weeks off a year.

If we want to encourage our youth to stay here, then we need to support opportunities for growth in education and employment. Most teachers work hard, yet negative stereotypes and perceptions of teachers persist. To help children succeed, teachers need the public’s support and to be unified.

Paige Nixon, Poland

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