We want educators to properly equip their students with the skills and resources that will help them forge a path for their future. Educators need funds to show students how; instead teachers are expected to pull a rabbit out of an empty hat.
Our professors here on campus are given limited printing credits, a few dead whiteboard markers, and twelve weeks to teach classes that usually take a semester to learn.
Anatomy and physiology, known as BIO 241 and BIO 242, are subjects taught in two semesters at the University of Washington, which equates to three quarters here at BC. Instead, professors must prepare students for medical school in a comparatively short amount of time.
Most of the faculty here on campus are part-time because they need another job or two to sustain a living. Some full-time faculty have additional employment as well.
In fact, during Fall Quarter 2018 at Bellevue College, many professors circled the water fountain holding up signs and wearing green. They were protesting how the college decided to use the money given by the state.
The Washington State legislature granted schools $4.2 million, collectively, with the intention to raise professor salaries, but BC used less than one-eighth of the money to increase faculty salary, prioritizing construction instead.
Not only does this affect the professors’ ability to teach, but it also dramatically impacts their home life. Bellevue is a costly place to live, so many teachers have to commute, sometimes from as far as Puyallup, to get to work.
Because of this, around 30 percent of full-time professors resign within their first five years of working at BC. This also affects students at Bellevue, because the instructors we currently have cannot provide as many office hours to meet with students.
Education is not exclusive to students or teachers. It affects the whole community, and as part of a community, we should help each other.
Many elementary schools have asked for donations, charmingly disguised as holiday wish lists, directly from the families of students. The lists typically request pencils, crayons, markers, and folders. These supplies are not only for teachers, but are shared classroom resources, so students that cannot afford personal supplies may use them.
World Vision is a charity organization that packages school supplies and donates them to teachers and children who cannot afford it themselves. They ask for volunteers on the second and fourth Saturday of the month, only two days every month, a strategy they hope will foster more support for both educators and the public school system in general.