Local News

Days before AP exam, Wake County teacher skips rally to help students prepare

Posted May 15, 2018 7:06 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 1:42 p.m. EDT

— More than a third of the school districts in North Carolina will be closed Wednesday, as tens of thousands teachers attend a rally in downtown Raleigh. But despite the closure, one Wake County teacher plans to hold class.

Trena Kirby, an Advanced Placement Human Geography teacher at Athens Drive High School, said she understands why educators are marching.

Days before AP exam, Wake County teacher skips rally to help students prepare

“I think it’s important. I am 150 percent behind the teachers,” Kirby said.

She said her students experience shortages and lack of funding every day.

“They can see that there are 90 of them and 19 textbooks. They can see that there are 32 kids in a class and 9 laptops. They know this,” she said.

She said wants to be at this rally but said she feels drawn to the classroom for her kids.

“The civics textbook that we use still has Obama as a junior senator,” Kirby said.

She understands why teachers are marching, and she considered being there too, but she’s made the decision to stay in the classroom.

“A lot of thought went into my decision to be here instead of at the rally,” Kirby said.

Her Advanced Placement students have their placement exam for college credit at the end of the week, and there are few days left to prepare.

“I want this to be a positive experience for them,” she said.

Kirby invited students to come to school on the day off to study together. Dozens of her students plan to show up to prepare for the test.

Though she won't be there personally, Kirby believes there is also a good message in the march.

“Turning students into civic participants by example is a wonderful thing,” Kirby said.

Kirby said the tutoring session is nothing unusual for teachers. They spend countless hours with students after work and on the weekends.