Word is quickly spreading through social media from Waterford High School students about the looming threat of Mr. Cheney, a history teacher, losing his job at the end of this year. Waterford High School has been cutting teachers for the past few years, however, students, as well as myself, are vehemently speaking out against this and urging all to contact Superindent Belair and demand that Mr. Cheney keep his job. The outrage and despair that students, past and present, are showing in support of him stands as a testament to his positive impact on them and the fact that Waterford High School cannot afford to lose such a great educator. Here is the original posting that sparked the rest:
"Attention all Waterford District students, alumni, and parents:
Waterford High School is planning on cutting a social studies position at the end of the academic year. While this sort of decision may seem par for the course considering the administration’s generous layoffs in years prior, the simple fact is the school is cutting their best, most effective teacher: Mr. Ian Cheney. Anyone who has had the pleasure of knowing Mr. Cheney or the good fortune of being in his class understands the absurdity of such a decision.
This is an academic disgrace.
The superb quality of this man’s teaching ability cannot be overstated. Mr. Cheney is a teacher who challenges his students and cares about their education on a holistic level. While teachers elsewhere bore their students with preparation for standardized tests, Mr. Cheney provokes a deeper intellectualism within his students. He emphasizes teaching how to think, rather than a recitation of course material. His lectures are discussions in which students can exercise their critical thinking and rhetorical skills. Students are encouraged to be independent thinkers instead of mindless test takers.
In our country, we are losing too many good teachers to abusive tenure policies, lack of incentives, and despicable budget cuts. Good teachers should be promoted over everything, including age and length of career. It is not just for Mr. Cheney’s sake that this issue should be addressed, but for the academic future of all students in the Waterford district.
I urge anyone who has been personally influenced by Mr. Cheney or knows someone who has to contact the superintendent and principal to voice their concerns. Emails, letters, and calls to the administration are vital to letting them know that we wish to keep our best teachers. If we want an educated, motivated youth we must have passionate and quality teachers. Let them know that you want Mr. Cheney to stay.
Here is the email of the superintendent and principal of Waterford High: