During the Auburn School Committee meeting April 6, a number of teachers from across all grade levels took the floor to address the Superintendent, the School Committee and the audience. Those educators spoke to both their years of experience and their dedication to student learning.

Why have 17 teachers left Auburn Middle School since the district’s superintendent was hired? The district is hemorrhaging highly qualified educators during a time in this country when more and more young people are choosing not to become teachers. A teacher shortage looms nationwide. Auburn teachers are leaving for other schools offering the security of contracts, higher salaries, professional development and respect.

Let us not forget, teachers have spent years of study and much money to be where they are today. Daily, they teach and care for each and every student in their classes. Teachers promote learning and thinking. They work many additional hours evenings and weekends at home with no financial compensation, because they are dedicated.

Teachers are public servants. That does not mean the public can take advantage of them. Auburn educators struggle to remain confident. They are regrettably aware that when the systems fails them (as is apparent in Auburn) the system also fails their students.

If an administration is unable to work with fellow educators, sharing mutual respect and providing educational leadership, I suggest — not for the teachers to leave — but for the superintendent to consider vacating her position, before the current conditions worsen.

Pamela Gilpin Stowe, Auburn

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