I am a high school teacher. My Crew has taken the bold step to sponsor Yidnekachew Habtamu in Ethopia. The students need to raise $38 each month. Ultimately, the goal is to raise enough to keep the sponsorship going even when the students are not in school. Your donation to help this cause would be greatly appreciated!
Education is one of the most legislated of all professions. Often teachers, principals, and support staff are disheartened by news of recent legislation on salary, curriculum and testing. It seems as though there is nothing that we can do to change our circumstances. It is the hand that’s been dealt to us. Deal with it.
There is some truth to this statement.
We have to deal with it.
As educators, we deal with it by jumping through legislated hoops, constantly working long hours, changing our materials and our pedagogy in an effort to exceed state standards.
We deal with it by serving as parents to our students, praising them in the good times and offering correction in times of need. We offer a crying shoulder to the heartbroken and a source of intrigue and joy to those having great days.
We deal with it by appropriately differentiating our lessons, and meeting all aspects of various 504 and IEP plans.
We deal with it by contacting parents not only when their child is doing poorly in our classroom, but also when they achieve something remarkable. There is such an interesting shift in the mindset of a parent when they do not dread a phone call from school.
We deal with it by considering ourselves role models within society, upholding high moral and ethical standards for ourselves and those around us both inside and outside the school building.
We deal with it by developing creative instructional experiences for all students, not only embedding the required curriculum but also sound character education. We put ourselves in a student’s shoes and say “what would I like to do in class today?” in an attempt to reach every small soul.
We deal with it by giving of our own free time and financial resources where the State will not. We put others before ourselves, often at the expense of personal debt, to ensure that each student has equal access to educational materials to aid in their journey.
We deal with it by getting to school early in preparation, and leaving school late to ensure that papers are graded, paperwork is completed, the classroom is clean, copies are made, and our lives are in enough order to repeat the process the next day.
We deal with it by bettering our own education, at our own expense, so that we can be better at our job even if the State fails to reward those efforts.
We deal with it by consistently outperforming state goals in our own classroom, with little or no support from outside entities. We work to deliver high quality lessons, ensure that all aspects of state curriculum have been covered, and that students are equipped with the skills necessary to display their knowledge.
We deal with it because through advocacy for our profession, and the evidence of the fruit of our labor, we believe that we can bring about social and political change in an otherwise dying world.
We deal with it because ultimately what we do is out of love: love for the children that we see daily. Love, not only for knowledge, but for the development of positive character and the love and desire to see our students live successful and fulfilling lives.
Teaching is not a job, it’s a calling. That calling must be answered by those who love more than whatever hand they are dealt. Because we love, we can deal with it.