North Carolina Teacher Project

North Carolina Teacher Project
Credit Keith Weston / WUNC

Phil Berger
Dave DeWitt

Bryan Proffitt fully expected to go to jail Monday night. He spent most of the day at Hillside High School, where he teaches history, proctoring exams. A few hours after the final school bell, he was in an upstairs auditorium at the state Legislature, rallying supporters.

“We’re generally a pleasant and rule-following bunch,” he said. “But when you attack our students, when you threaten our schools and our communities and their families and you bully us and our co-workers, than you’d better prepare for what happens next.”

Students at McDougle Elementary.
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

  The House passed a bill on Wednesday that moves the state closer to getting rid of the Common Core standards.

The bill would form a commission to rewrite the standards over the next year, according to legislators, though they could not offer a clear timetable of when they would be implemented in classrooms. They say students would still learn under Common Core until new standards are in place. 

Troops To Teachers
Dave DeWitt

Stephen Harrington is proud of his school, and rightfully so. Holly Grove Middle School is a gleaming facility, with well-manicured sports fields; clean, bright hallways, and even tidy lockers.

Harrington is an Assistant Principal here, and assistant principals - as anyone in education will tell you - are the unheralded heroes of any school. They have a wide variety of tasks, from recruiting teachers to running an efficient car line to helping kids who are having discipline problems.

Northern High School senior Mercy Mensah and athletic trainer Ken "Doc" Brown
Will Michaels / WUNC

WUNC is in the midst of a yearlong examination of what it's like to be an educator, called the North Carolina Teacher Project. This week, we're returning to the My Teacher series, exploring what it takes to make a connection in the classroom by asking students to interview their teachers.

'Through Your Class, I Found Something That I Actually Really Care About'

May 22, 2014
Carrboro High School junior Anna Knotek, history teacher Matthew Cone, and junior Maddie Macmillan
Will Michaels / WUNC

WUNC is in the midst of a yearlong examination of what it's like to be an educator, called the North Carolina Teacher Project. This week, we're returning to the My Teacher series, exploring what it takes to make a connection in the classroom by asking students to interview their teachers.

WUNC is in the midst of a yearlong examination of what it's like to be an educator, called the North Carolina Teacher Project. This week, we're returning to the My Teacher series, exploring what it takes to make a connection in the classroom by asking students to interview their teachers.

Junior Sarah Morrison says her veteran English teacher Nancy Duffner pushed her to be a better writer and dig deeper for her stories about current events. Mrs. Duffner has been around long enough to witness district consolidation and the changing demographics in northern Durham.

'We Sometimes Refer To You As Our Second Mother'

May 20, 2014
Chapel Hill High School Japanese teacher Yoshimi Aoyagi and senior Nell Ovitt
Will Michaels / WUNC

WUNC is in the midst of a yearlong examination of what it's like to be an educator, called the North Carolina Teacher Project. This week, we're returning to the My Teacher series, exploring what it takes to make a connection in the classroom by asking students to interview their teachers.

WUNC's My Teacher series continues at Chapel Hill High School, where Nell Ovitt is a senior. Nell's Japanese teacher Yoshimi Aoyagi gave her the opportunity to study in Japan during high school, and host a Japanese student at home.

Elrod
Dave DeWitt

In the back corner of Stephen Elrod’s third-grade classroom, a man is lurking who wants to take the children’s money. He’s not a real man, and it’s not real money. It’s a large cartoon drawing of a maniacal character clutching fistfuls of dollars. A plastic bin is attached to the wall below the picture, filled with play money.

“Every time we take a test like Case 21 or EOG we either give him money or we keep our money,” explains Joanne, one of the students. “And, if we don’t make our goal, we have to give him some money, and if we do make our goal, we get to keep our money.”

classroom
Dave DeWitt

Last week, Sarah Wiles, a science teacher in the Charlotte/Mecklenburg Schools with a master's degree and six years' experience, sent an email to every member of the North Carolina General Assembly with the subject line: “I am embarrassed to confess: I am a teacher.” That email is below.

Monday morning, Sen. David Curtis, a Republican from Denver, NC, replied (actually “reply all” as it went to every member of the General Assembly.) And it’s a message that is sure to get some attention from public-school advocates.

Here’s what he had to say:

Pat McCrory
Reema Khrais

Governor Pat McCrory announced Wednesday that he intends to give all teachers a two percent raise this year. He also set out a long-term plan to overhaul the way North Carolina's teachers are paid. 

His proposal would reward teachers based on their experience, performance and credentials. Teachers in hard-to-staff schools or subjects would also receive extra pay. Governor McCrory gave details about the plan at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro earlier today. 

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