Thursday, December 3, 2015

A Gift for the Entire Teaching Profession

If you're reading this, you need to thank a teacher, and if you have a degree, you can thank a teacher for that as well.  One of the most difficult and most thankless jobs in our country is that of the classroom teacher.  The perception, among many who have little to no knowledge or respect for the profession, is that teachers have a cake walk for a job.  They make statements like "all they do is work from 8:00 - 3:30 and have summers off".  This assumption is more than just faulty. It's downright wrong.  People base this inaccurate belief on the fact that they really have no clue what it takes to be a teacher, let alone a successful one. Sure, teachers are with kids during those hours, but I can assure you of one thing. Teachers bust their tails and do a whole lot more work than the average Joe could ever fathom.  Furthermore, there are tons of things that teachers do for kids that no one, including the kids themselves, will ever know.

Since Christmas is around the corner, let's give teachers a well-deserved gift for all that they do. Sure, they will receive gifts from their students and administrators, but I'd like for us to go a step further by doing something that could do more for the profession than any Christmas gift.  We should give them the gift of educating the general public on what it is that teachers actually do. Think about it.  If we had a more educated public, we would have a larger and more supportive group of education advocates than we have right now.  So here are a few things that we can tell our communities about the teaching profession.

THANK You for Choosing to be a TEACHER
Teachers come early, stay late, work through lunch, and give up their conference to work with kids. In fact if you asked a teacher how much time they have to do their job, they would tell you not enough to meet the ever growing needs of kids.

A teacher's lounge is a mythical place.  Most schools have a teachers' "lounge", but you will never find a teacher lounging around on their conference period or at lunch because they are working their tails off getting ready for the next class, participating in a meeting, or helping one of their fellow teachers.  

You can't call your doctor anytime you want, but you probably know how to reach your child's teacher.  Teachers make themselves accessible to their parents via email, phone and even social media. Many parents have direct access to their teachers because teachers want parents to be their partners in the educational process. Additionally, teachers make time to conference with parents at night or any other time when they aren't with students. 

Nights, Weekends and Summers 
If you drive past the school any time, you will see cars parked at the school.  That's because teachers are working in preparation for the next week. Throughout the summer you will see the same thing as teachers are preparing for the next school year. 

No matter how much people berate teachers and the profession as a whole, they continue to kill the world with kindness. When a teacher is slammed on Facebook, the teacher has little choice but to sit quietly as they continue to serve kids selflessly. 

Shirt off their Back 
When a kid is hungry, they have a stash of snacks. No lunch money; no problem. They give kids lunch money if they're out.   And I can't tell you how many times I've seen teachers buy Christmas for one of their students that wasn't going to have a Christmas.  Teachers give everything they have for their kids.

Give Thanks for Educators
To sum it up, I hope you will watch and share this unbelievable video by Rick DuFour.  This will further illustrate what teachers are doing for your kids and for mine, and furthermore it will show why we as a nation must advocate for the profession and continuously make the time and the consistent effort to tell our teachers how truly amazing that they are.

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