My name is Mary Jewers and I’m a Special Education Classroom Assistant (SECA) at Greene Elementary. I left the corporate workplace in search of somewhere I could make a difference and I found it as a SECA. I never thought I’d stay but I love my job and I have stuck it out for seventeen years. As a mom of two children myself, I chose to be a SECA in Chicago Public Schools because the job has allowed me to be a more present mom.
I work with a great staff team that is unbelievably dedicated. Every school day I drive from my home on the North Side to my school on the South Side ready to greet my students. However, it hasn’t been easy finding the energy to give them my all. Many SECAs have felt disrespected by the salary we’re getting paid that is based off of years old salary charts. I’m lucky to work with fellow staff who fairly distribute work but SECAs in other workplaces are often pressured to do tasks that are outside of their stated responsibilities. The work we do is invaluable and it is absolutely necessary that we have a work environment that values us as people.
I’m planning to attend the meeting with the Special Education monitor, Laura Boedecker, on April 25th so she can hear my story firsthand. I treat my students just as I do my own children and I want to see my efforts acknowledged. Join me by RSVPing at this link today: http://bit.ly/2U7r8x6