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The student voice of West Potomac High School

The Wire

The student voice of West Potomac High School

The Wire

The student voice of West Potomac High School

The Wire

A Retirement Request: Vote

Thomas Brown
Mr. Ed Chapman retired from West Po after 15 years of teaching biology.

When I moved to DC in 2009 from Richmond VA, I drew a circle on a map and decided to teach at a Virginia school within about a half hour commute of my house in Capitol Hill. WPHS won for obvious reasons.

I always wonder if students at West Po realize what a great school they are attending. Here’s why it’s a great school. First, the population here is diverse–a real mix of students from different backgrounds, all bringing their diversity and culture with them to keep a person observant, open-minded, and human. It is like the real world–something you will notice if you travel around a bit.

There is nothing more mind-numbing than spending years surrounded by people who are all just like you. Second, the teachers and staff here are engaging, positive and caring, especially in the science department. This is more unusual than you might think.

When I made the decision to retire early after 15 years here, I considered a whole list of factors beyond reaching my 60th birthday. All of these factors are things happening beyond the walls of our school and outside of our control that make the job a bit too much, at least for me.

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Teachers are asked to do much more than just a decade ago, but with fewer resources and less time to get these things done. Politics are creeping deeper into public education, causing our nation to lose sight of precisely what public schools are actually for. Lastly, our families are working so long and hard that the job of “parenting” is falling more on classroom teachers by default–something that makes teachers even more critical to our society.

If you can manage a high school class AND teach them something each day, you can do almost anything, right? This means teachers deserve salaries, time and training commensurate with these challenges.

It is really that simple. Consider these things when you vote, because your public schools are depending on you.

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About the Contributor
Thomas Brown
Thomas Brown, School & Student Issues Editor
Thomas Brown is a junior at West Po. He’s on the cross country team and also does swim and crew. Thomas enjoys reading, sailing, and biking around the city. This is Thomas’s first year in journalism and he’s very excited to work on the school newspaper and improve his skills as a writer and a reporter

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