But, still, I will rise--
I will rise up each morning and show up at school and teach my heart out.
I will raise my voice to anyone who will listen to my message of hope and kindness.
I will raise my fist in solidarity with my teacher colleagues as we continue our pursuit of respect.
I will raise awareness for equity and excellence in my district and state.
I will raise my hand and volunteer my talent and passion for public education.
I will raise my palm and high five the celebrations that happen in my classroom everyday.
I will rise above the disrespect and criticism of my chosen career.
I will raise another class of students to know they can do anything they try to do.
I will raise my ballot to drop into the ballot box to vote for a school board and state superintendent and representatives that support teachers and public education.
I will raise my pen and write my feelings and opinions and share them with the world.
I will rise like the sun in the morning and the moon in the evening despite the continued disdain for the job I do, and I will give more than anyone can be expected to support the social-emotional and educational needs of the students I teach.
I will raise my glass and cheer with my friends and coworkers when we get together to blow off steam.
And, I will raise my eyes heavenward and express gratitude that I have the greatest job in the world.
Because, North Carolina, you cannot keep me down by not giving me a raise.