For as long as I can remember, I have been surrounded by educators. My Mom is a teacher by profession and so is my Aunt. Many personal friends of mine are teachers as well as acquaintances and friends of my family. I’ve worked in a university doing administrative work for professors. And now, as I look for full-time work, I’ve been substitute teaching in the interim, which has given me a closer glimpse to the life of a teacher...
This week I watched the well-known documentary, Waiting for Superman. It was an incredible film and definitely worth checking out. Though I was already aware of the magnitude of dysfunction within public education, watching Waiting for Superman opened my eyes even more so to the issue. Every child does deserve a great teacher and a fair shot at education. However, just as it is with many things in life, fair is not the norm within the system. It’s sad to think that so many people go into education with the goal of making a difference in children’s lives, but because of the politics and the red tape, the passion fizzles out and the once-zealous teachers wind up being the status quo until they can finally retire. Those stories are heard way too often. With all the bureaucracy, it’s easy to see why they lose heart. The whole situation is discouraging.
The amount of people who are true advocates for kids seems to be dwindling. Michelle Rhee, Former D.C. Public Schools Chancellor and CEO/Founder of Students First, is not among those numbers. In one of her videos, she mentioned that how terrible kids are placing globally in reading and math and that “the children who are in school today will be the first generation of Americans who are less well educated than their parents were.” It's sad.
Now, I am not trying to act like I know a thing about teaching simply because I am filling in a few times a week. But my heart goes out to those people who were inspired to make a difference in a child’s life and have gotten discouraged along the way. And moreover, my heart goes out to the kids who will never receive the education that they deserve.
Whether you’re teaching in public school, private school, at home or in a university or a trade school, know that what you do makes a difference. You may not get the recognition you deserve or the rewards that you work so hard for, but you are doing a job that matters.
Shout-out to teachers!