Raleigh teacher appears on the cover of Time Magazine

Thursday, September 27, 2018
Raleigh teacher appears on the cover of TIME magazine
Raleigh teacher appears on the cover of TIME magazine

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Raleigh teacher is one of three people you will find on the most recent issue of Time Magazine, taking the ever growing educators movement to a large national publication.

Nashonda Cooke, a 20-year veteran of North Carolina schools, left Durham Public Schools last year for a teaching job in Wake County.

Prior to the teacher rally this Spring in downtown Raleigh, Cooke wrote a blog post that caught the attention of the magazine.

Over the summer, Cooke continued the conversation with Time.

Last week, Cooke got a call from Time. "You're going to be on one of three covers!" Cooke said, detailing the phone call.

"I am a teacher in America" the cover reads in bold print.

"I kept it real," Cooke said about her interview. "I told them it is not what you think it is. Teachers are not doing well at home."

Cooke is one of the few teachers who make more than the $51,000 average state teacher pay, taking home a little less than $70,000 annually.

Cooke said she doesn't mind defending her pay, noting the many extra jobs she has with the school to make ends meet.

Cooke also credits her advanced degree. Until a few years ago, teachers in North Carolina were compensated additionally for seeking out advanced education.

Cooke is grandfathered into that system, but added that many of her colleagues with the same degree are not.

"It breaks my heart to look into the faces of my colleagues that don't have that same opportunity," Cooke explained

That, coupled with, according to Cooke, disappearing assets, like teaching assistants, and lack of materials needed all equal a perfect storm for the veteran educator agreeing to share her story with Time.

"Teaching is almost like performing heart surgery or brain surgery. We are changing the minds of these students... the future is in their hands."