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Isle of Wight teachers to receive $1,000 bonus

The school board approved the extra money as well as some extra days off for everybody.

ISLE OF WIGHT COUNTY, Va. — Those in charge of educating children don’t always have an easy job. That's why teachers at Isle of Wight County Schools are getting a big bonus this holiday, to the tune of $1,000.

Community and Media Relations Director Lynn Briggs said teacher burnout is a big concern. And it’s not a problem that’s limited to Isle of Wight County. School divisions everywhere say teachers are stressed.

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“It’s a big concern. We know our teachers are already stressed in a normal year. It’s a lot to have to juggle and now you put the pandemic on top of it," Briggs said. “We thought that this would be a return to normal, and it’s appearing that this year is even more difficult than last year."

Briggs said the extra cash is an effort to thank teachers for the hard work they’ve done this year.

“It’s going to be part of their paycheck so they’re welcome to use it how they would like,” she explained.

The money will go to teachers in their December paycheck. 

A shortage of substitutes is a big issue that teachers are facing this time around. Many teachers have to work during their planning time to cover shifts for their colleagues.

“In normal years, we may have had a teacher who had to cover a class maybe a couple of times a year due to inability to get a substitute. Now we’re seeing our teachers having to do this, in some cases, a few times a week," Briggs said.  

Briggs said teachers and students will also enjoy some extra time off: a full week for Thanksgiving. Also, January 3rd, the Monday after the new year, will also be a holiday.

“We do need to focus on the mental health of our staff, we need to focus on the mental health of our students," Briggs said. "They can just catch their breath, focus on themselves and their families.”