Part 1: Teachers would like to see pay raise higher than one percent

MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - Teachers in our area say they need help.

While they're pleased to hear that Gov. Jim Justice is considering a one percent pay increase for teachers, some say that isn't enough, especially when it comes to what teachers in other states are making.

"I'm looking for summer employment because the income isn't high enough," said Kathy Elliott, an eighth grade teacher in Monongalia County.

For Elliott, she doesn't fuel young minds just for the money.

"Teachers just want their kids to learn," Elliott said. "That's our main goal - to teach them, and to keep them interested in learning. We spend a lot of time fine tuning out lessons, making them so they're relevant, making them lessons that the kids are interested in."

It's all about the students, and the chance to play such a vital role in their education.

"They have grading to do," said Crystal Nantz, the principal at Mountaineer Middle School. "They have assessments to create. The pressure to use technology has caused them to have to do a lot of self staff development so they can learn the technology that the kids might already know."

Nantz has been a teacher in three other schools. She sees the work her teachers do, and has also done it herself.

"Things are a lot different now," she said. "There's a lot more expectation on teachers. The way we teach and the technology is causing us to constantly change."

With all the days off from school due to weather, kids take advantage of that by playing outside or just not being in the classroom. Teachers' work isn't just in school or in the classroom. Often times it extends outside of school hours.

"I have almost 200 students this year, just me," said Elliott. "So take that, and every time I get an assignment, it's 200 papers to grade, 200 essays to grade, which is very time consuming."

5 News will also have the second part of this story on Saturday, where we will speak with some who feel teachers do deserve a raise, but the state has to be financially responsible and can only spend what it has.