Teachers get a bad rap. To clarify, I’m not talking about your fangled-tooth, wackamole teacher who arrives angrily to work and proceeds to assume the role of a dictator. They’re not teachers; they’re broken adults, soured by their own naïveté, and unfit for one day more in the classroom.
While there are a few choice sociopaths out there instructing our children (God bless tenure), we must heartily agree that many teachers do things you and I never could. Unfortunately, as a society, we have generally dumped the responsibility of raising of our children over to teachers. Teachers need not only teach academic and Socratic fundamentals, they need also to weave in a bit of social mores and are given the task of teaching responsibilities, logical calculations, character education and every other component of social interaction our culture wishes to dispose itself of.
Incredibly, teachers still rise to the task. Moreover, teachers do this all within what is largely a broken educational system; a system that cares more about the system itself than the kids within. It’s a system anachronistic in nature, but forcibly present today. A system that oftentimes dictates what teachers must say and do; no questions asked.
But teachers keep on doing their thing. Why? Because they care about kids. Even though they know much of society writes off the typical child as a nuisance, teachers advocate for their personhood. They care about building relationships and they care about creating futures for all kids. They care so much that they’re willing to be paid a pittance for their practice; a practice that is tantamount to any other within the fabric of our social structure.
So they next time we find ourselves wanting to chide our schooling system, I’d ask us to remember that what we’ve asked of teachers is truly an impossible thing. Instead, let’s thank the folks who unabashedly wear goofy apple adorned anything, who put in ungodly amounts of weekend prep time, and work tirelessly for each individual student. Most importantly, let’s thank these people; these neighbors, these teachers, that too often go unrecognized and unappreciated.
Teachers, you are appreciated; you are awesome. Thank you.