Teachers speak out on contract, evaluations

Farrington High School teacher Joana Sebastian

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Although details are still being hashed out, many teachers are pleased with the contract and the evaluations.

After rallies and lots of back and forth, it’s a done deal.

A worrisome sticking point during negotiations: teacher evaluations.

But these teachers don’t seem to mind.

“You know, if teachers are doing what they’re supposed to be doing in classrooms, then we shouldn’t have any problems. I think just clear guidelines of what is expected, or what we’re expected to do in the classroom,” Farrington High School teacher Lisa Ponce said.

“We are stakeholders now, the union is going to have some say, the Department of Education is going to have some say. And I think in the end we’ll get a fair evaluation system,” Farrington High School teacher Jason Shewbart said.

But for one young teacher, she’s just months into her career.

“It slightly is scary because as a new teacher I’m not as experienced as other teachers and I don’t have all the belief that I can have just yet that makes me confident,” Farrington High School teacher Joana Sebastian said.

Pay raises are a good thing, but the teachers KHON2 spoke with said the benefits are better.

“The money wasn’t as much a concern as the health insurance for me. That health insurance was taking a huge chunk. Enough where I almost thought about cancelling it,” Shewbart said.

“Yes, it’s a great thing! I carry the insurance for my family, so for me I saw a really big, drastic cut in my pay when we went to 50/50. So I’m happy that it’s back to 60/40,” Ponce said.

The new contract begins July 1.

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