As Teachers Brace For Cuts, Remember the Value of Mentoring

[ 0 ] February 24, 2011 |

We’re hearing a lot about teachers and education these days. With states like Wisconsin, Indiana and New Jersey trying to reduce budget deficits, in part, by forcing teachers and public employees to pay more for health care, or making cuts in education, this issue is front and center in the public eye.

In Providence, R.I., every public teacher in the city is getting pink slips! City officials say it’s part of an effort to reduce a $40 million deficit but not every teacher will be fired; state law requires that teachers be notified about potential changes to their employment status by March 1, according to The Providence Journal. In Memphis, TN, teachers are fearful that if they lose collective bargaining power, they could lose pay and other benefits. In Indiana, hundreds of teachers are protesting a bill that would restrict bargaining rights. And in Beaverton, OR, teachers are bracing for $32.8 million in ‘painful’ cuts.

Whatever the outcome of these politics, there’s no question teachers often serve as invaluable mentors to our children. Grammy-award winning singer Patti Austin recently spoke to genConnect about what mentors have meant in her life.

“They strengthened my purpose and my resolve. They made me feel comfortable in situations that I otherwise would have been very uncomfortable in because I wouldn’t have had any knowledge when I walked in the door,” she says.

She also talked about how mentoring makes the world a better place.

“Think of a world where no one gives any information on how to walk the path? If you think we’re messed up now, imagine a world where nobody drops bread crumbs and says ‘here’s how you do this,” Austin says. “It’s a responsibility, it really is. I don’t see how you live in a world and see someone behind you who needs information or needs you to share experience with them and you don’t do it … it’s important to pull everybody up.”

So whether it be teachers or other role models for kids and young adults, support our mentors! They will help generations to come!

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For more from Patti Austin:

Patti Austin: Sings the Praises of Mentors (Video)

Patti Austin: What Mentors Did for Her (Video)

Women in Mentoring (Video)

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Patti Austin

About Patti Austin: Patti Austin (born August 10, 1950, in Harlem, New York) is an American Grammy-winning R&B and jazz music singer. She made her debut at the Apollo Theater at age four and had a contract with [...]
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