September is bearing down upon us and it is always a bittersweet time for teachers. It’s a time of new beginnings, of fresh hope. Soon the bell will ring and a flood of kids decked out in American Eagle attire will enter our lives. And though we mourn the loss of lazy mornings when we had time to sip our coffee and scroll through the Huffington Post, we will give this new group of kids our best shot.
As August rolls to a close, I think what I will miss most is the breathing space. Let’s face it- if you are a good teacher, there will not be a moment from September to June when your time is truly your own. There will never be a night without homework. I will go to bed thinking about a better way to teach something and sometimes revise my next day’s lesson plan at 11:00 p.m. (Shout out to the copy lady who always goes the extra mile to get me the copies I need when this happens) My mind will whirl and spin and I won’t be able to turn it off.
What saddens me most is the animosity the public displays toward educators. Not everyone, of course; most parents are kind and understanding and appreciative. But there is an unfortunate impression out there that teachers are lazy. They get done at 3 o’clock. They only work 9 months of the year. They don’t want to be held accountable. I could go on and on, but I won’t give the critics that satisfaction.
Because the truth is most teachers don’t leave at 3 0’clock. They voluntarily work much of the summer to be better at their job. They don’t really object to being held accountable; they only object to being held accountable for things they cannot control.
Most teachers are overwhelmed and overstressed and drowning in the wake of reforms that may be well-intentioned, but are fraught with flawed logic.
In fact, drowning is a good analogy for both teachers and students these days. Please read my latest story, published on The Satirist, a story which explores the overwhelming challenges teachers face today in a world where they stakes just keep getting higher and the data just doesn’t tell the whole story. If you like it, share out to teachers you know.
Maybe it will give them the encouragement they need to keep swimming.
It only takes a moment to read it here @The Satirist
Shout out to Dan Geddes at The Satirist, by the way, for getting the story out there!
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