Fayetteville teachers prepared to go it alone in classroom

Posted August 26, 2013

— State budget cuts have eliminated more than 3,800 teaching assistant positions in second- and third-grade classrooms across North Carolina, and elementary school teachers said Monday that they're ready to brave a new world without assistants.

Cumberland County Schools lost about 130 of people whom Superintendent Frank Till calls "paraprofessionals."

"I tell people, if you don't think you need a paraprofessional in the classroom, then invite 22 kindergartners over to your house," Till said.

Lindsay Warren, a third-grade teacher at VanStory Elementary School in Fayetteville, said she will miss having an assistant in her classroom several times each week.

"She could work one on one with kids because, the huge thing is, in a classroom with 18 kids, not everybody is on the same level," Warren said.

Second-grade teacher Erica Flores called her former assistant wonderful.

"(It was) just an extra set of hands in here to help the kids achieve their goals," Flores said.

The state cuts didn't affect assistants in kindergarten and first grade.

Classroom generic Loss of teaching assistants strains elementary classrooms

Till also noted that, because of attrition, the district was able to rehire many teaching assistants who had been laid off and placed them in positions at different schools.

"The research says, if we lose a child by third grade, we've probably lost them forever," he said.

Warren said budget cuts and the strain of working without an assistant won't affect her love of her job.

"We're going to make it work because we love these kids," she said. "If I have to put in more hours or if I have to stay here a little later to get it done, that's what I'm going to do, because it's about them."


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  • missy01 Aug 28, 2013

    "missy01: easy for you to say. homeschooling isn't an option for everyone, and expensive private schools where enrollment is tightly controlled isn't either.

    Given the general ignorance of average Americans, kids are probably better off in schools."

    Ummm... RockGuitar - where do you think these 'ignorant average Americans received their education?' I'd say the public schools. Thanks for proving my point ;)

  • 678devilish Aug 28, 2013

    The teachers will be fine if they stop the complaining. My teachers of yesterday taught their classes and never asked for a raise or supplies and they all became outstanding teacher for teaching the students.

  • 678devilish Aug 28, 2013

    If teacher would put their mind to it, they will do find as my teachers did in the day. Be a teacher instead of asking for hand out of supplies. You can do without that. Teach or find another job out of the school system.

  • Combat MP Aug 28, 2013

    Maybe all the "lazy" teachers will quit. They can go work at Burger King and get a nice pay raise. I hear the lib groups will be organizing fast food workers so they can get big money for flipping burgers.

  • Steve Mchugelarge Aug 28, 2013

    When I went to grade school we had one teacher and no TA's, and my class had close to 30 kids. I guess as with everything, people were just more hard core back in the day.

  • Bill Brasky Aug 27, 2013

    "Teacher assistants is one small part of the overall problem."

    Sounds like I need to go back to school!

  • westernwake1 Aug 27, 2013

    "THANK you Seven74215 for bringing light to this teacher whining matter.

    Yes, All NC Teachers, if you don't like your pay here, no one's holding you to stay here, just go find yourself a better paying job someplace else. Thanks for leaving !!" - tuckerbrian54

    Sadly this is another example of someone who does not understand how business competition works. North Carolina has to compete against nearby states for the best and brightest teachers. All the states surrounding us pay on average $10K more in salary to teachers than North Carolina does. Due to this many of the top teaching graduates in North Carolina are landing up outside our state including the N.C. Teaching Fellows (Georgia will pay back the entire college tuition for a N.C. Teaching Fellow and give them $10K more in yearly salary to start plus a bonus.)

  • Bill Brasky Aug 27, 2013

    Teacher assistants is one small part of the overall problem. Teaching is the only profession were you have to steal from home to take to work, and its sad that teachers have to spend their own money to come up with classroom supplies that should be paid by a properly funded public school system. NC Public schools have been underfunded for a long time, but the latest group of politicans want to further erode teacher benefits, thats why good teachers are leaving this state.

  • hollylama Aug 27, 2013

    Put the students to "work"...LOL

  • free2bme Aug 27, 2013

    THANK you Seven74215 for bringing light to this teacher whining matter.

    Yes, All NC Teachers, if you don't like your pay here, no one's holding you to stay here, just go find yourself a better paying job someplace else. Thanks for leaving !! tuckerbrian54

    More insolence so sad. You better hope we keep all the working tax payers we can in NC. Look at Detroit if you don't know what happens when working people leave a city by the droves. Not alone who do you think is going to put up with your half-reared children once the good teachers leave.