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Teachers offer students opportunity of lifetime

I read an article over the weekend written by a teacher saying not only that it’s time to get out of education but also that he would not recommend education as a profession to young people. I understood a lot of what this person had to say, but it made me sad. I wish he could have gone back to the time when he first entered the teaching profession and remembered why he chose it to begin with.
Yes, education has become more demanding as a profession. With little input from those on the “front lines,” politicians and those in state department positions have pushed down a continual stream of mandates focused on education reform. Some of these ideas sound beautiful on paper, but those working in schools know the incredible burden that will be created with little to no results.
Are all of these ideas bad ones? No. Some are good, but need a dose of reality applied to them. That is the reason we need teachers to stay in education and to encourage young people to join the profession. Teachers know education. They know what works.
We need people who are willing and able to speak up. We need voices that will ask the hard questions and demand that those questions be answered. Education is more than teaching these days. Education is also about being an advocate.
Teachers know that the heart of every decision should be students. There are never acceptable casualties when it comes to educating students for their futures. To write a student off because they are struggling, disabled, Hispanic, or poor is to sentence them to a life filled with limited opportunities. Teachers know about closing the gaps for these students and they work to do so on a daily basis.
Will we pay them what they’re worth? No – because the value of a true teacher is immeasurable. They come in early and stay late. They take work home. They worry over the student they can tell isn’t “getting it,” the one that needs to be challenged even more, and the one who goes home to chaos instead of a real family. And in the summers they are taking classes, reading books, and preparing units for the coming school year. Real teachers eat, drink, breathe and live education.
Teaching is more than a profession. It’s a mission. And despite the pay, we need teachers who understand that. We need the best and the brightest to come help us make differences in the lives of students and their futures. We need voices that will not be silent.
So consider education. Be an elementary teacher, a special education teacher, a speech pathologist, a high school chemistry or PE teacher. If you want to make a difference in the world, educate. David Haselkorn says it so well, “Teaching is the essential profession, the one that makes all other professions possible.”
Come join me. Let’s make a difference. Let’s teach.