Wednesday, March 23, 2011

In Defense of Teachers - A Noble Calling

There is a lot of bullshit going around about what teachers do and do not do.  For those people who think they know what is going on and have never worked in a public school and feel the urge to argue something they have no insider knowledge about, shame on you.

Who in their right mind would want to be a teacher? The pay is lousy - all the teachers I've worked with have summer jobs unless their spouse makes big bucks.  You have to discipline kids all day, and you get very little thanks for it.

Everyone I have ever met who was working on their teaching credential or had taught for years and years was ON FIRE for teaching.  They didn't teach because they could get time off during certain parts of the year - they did it because they love making a difference in kids' lives.  They wanted to see the success of improving from a C to an A.  They wanted to see the pride on a kid's face when they finally "get it." They want to be positive role models for kids because this world is a mess and they know someone needs to be there for the next generation.   How dare ANYONE attack this noble profession which already receives so little thanks! 

It's true that some people suck.  I have news for you who are completely delusional - a certain percentage of all people suck.  You can find them everywhere, at the bank, on the road, in the cable company.  Some people suck.  Everyone doesn't. Honestly - having worked in education and at a university which TAUGHT people to TEACH - 99.9% of those going into teaching LOVE teaching.  That is their calling and their gift

Anyone who has worked in a school or volunteered in a school for any length of time knows that teachers work long before the first bell and long after the last.  Their rooms aren't magically organized when they come for the first day of school.  They might get a teacher's edition for a subject, but that will get completely thrown out the window as soon as 30 kids walk in the door with different skills and abilities, the principal decides they want to have a special "themed" week, the district wants you to incorporate something unrelated into your subject, and that doesn't include all the things that the state and federal government decide to throw at you.  You have to take continuing education units regularly.  You have meetings with parents, fellow teachers, and volunteers you have to attend.  Often teachers are in charge of certain clubs and activities, which adds to their work loads.  Oh, and any screw up at home is also dealt with in the classroom.  Anything affecting a child affects learning which means the teacher has to address it.

So, if you think teachers are lazy because you had one negative experience, I challenge you to shadow a teacher in a public school for a day.  Then tell me if they shouldn't have protections or be paid more. 

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