Are vacancies due to morale?

Published 9:41 am Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Teachers don’t get into the business to get rich; they get into it because of a love for children and a love of the profession.

They choose teaching because they know they have the opportunity to impact a life in a way few others ever will. Teachers teach because of how it makes them feel, and because of how they can influence others to feel about themselves.

Teaching is all about morale.

Last week, Franklin Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Michelle Belle, responding to reports of low employee morale in the Franklin school system, told a reporter that “teaching is a difficult field to be in. It’s a lot of work and you’re going to have a low morale.”

We respectfully disagree.

Teaching is in fact a very difficult field to be in, and it is most definitely a lot of work. But low morale can never be an acceptable part of the equation.

Employee morale is, simply stated a reflection of one’s satisfaction level with their level of compensation, chosen profession and work environment.

Given the fact that most teachers are familiar with the earnings potential of a public school educator prior to starting their career, and also given that they are familiar with the fact that being a teacher will require them to teach, we assume that there is an issue with the work environment in which they are being asked to perform.

It is incumbent upon school system officials to hire quality, qualified teachers and provide them with a professional environment in which they can achieve the positive results that they were trained to get. It is also the administration’s responsibility to weed out those who may be disgruntled before they infect the attitudes of other employees.

We would love to give Dr. Belle the benefit of the doubt when she says that none of the 15 vacant teaching positions in Franklin are due to low morale. We’re just not sure, based on her comments and those of her employees, that we can.