Barbara Hawley taught school for 15 years before resigning two weeks ago from her job as a second-grade teacher at Pleasant Union Elementary School in northern Wake County.  She said years of eroding respect in her profession had finally worn her down. “It’s been a long and frustrating road,” Hawley said Friday. “Public schools are not being supported financially.”
Hawley made about $45,000 a year as a teacher. She’s moving to an administrative assistant and accounting job that pays about the same.
She left six weeks into the year-round school year, upsetting some parents. She wrote a lengthy letter to them to explain her decision, while telling her students that she had an opportunity to work closer to her husband and spend more time with her family.”
Ok, let’s break this down.
  1. Assuming that she had a bachelor’s degree only and was moving to Step 15 or 16 of the Wake County Schools salary schedule, Hawley would have made over $50,000 a year this year.
  2. She said that she took a job paying the same salary.  In other words, she will be required to work twelve months instead of ten for the same amount of money.  Some may call that a pay cut.
  3. She has every right to bolt six weeks into the new school year or whenever she wants, but she leaves behind an awful mess.  Because of her decision, school administrators must scramble to find a suitable replacement and her former students may fall behind in the interim.
  4. Is she leaving her teaching position because she wants to spend more time with her family, public schools are not being supported financially, demands of testing and accountability, or something else?  I do not have access to the “lengthy letter,” so I cannot say for sure.  It seems to me, however, that she resigned for personal reasons and chose to take a parting shot at Republican legislators.  Of course, WRAL is happy to highlight the latter, adding a woe-is-me quote from her former principal for good measure.