Most of the teachers that I know are dedicated professionals who genuinely love children and want the best for them.
Teaching, however, is a professional that has morphed into one of less prestige and unrealistic expectations. Many districts have allowed politics and ad hoc solutions to erode the culture for teachers, administrators and support staff to levels of toxicity that have many either considering or actually leaving a profession they genuinely love.
The problem is that when teachers lament or express genuine concerns about the unrealistic expectations, workload and deflection of all responsibility and blame to them, they are considered to be undedicated, complainers, whiners, and unprofessional.
Too many times teachers are expected to do ANYTHING IT TAKES FOR THEIR STUDENTS…ANYTHING.
They’re expected to accept a never ending list of tasks because it’s ‘best for children’ while often ON THEIR OWN TIME THEY’RE EXPECTED TOgive up their duty-free lunch to ‘build relationships’, as well as…
Assume the legal liability if they aren’t executing those accommodations with fidelity in a fast paced…
Neglect the needs of their own children…
…and maintain the highest levels of emotional intelligence so they don’t react to that environment in a manner that could cost them their career or freedom.
In the corporate world there are functional areas and specialists that support the organization’s work, but teachers are expected to be both subject matter specialists and generalists.
This is because government and districts do a poor job of managing human bandwidth and seeing the importance of allocating funds to do so.
Most large organizations have seen the importance of a functional area that manages internal culture, while in most districts it’s non-existent.
This sets administrators, teachers and staff up for dysfunction, conflict and ‘tribal warfare’ in the school…
All this for the politically correct phrase, “We’ve got to do what’s best for children.” — that serves as an excuse to add an endless list of tasks.
During the height of the COVID/19 pandemic, one Tennessee politician in early 2021 made the complaint that, too many people are listening to the teacher’s union rather than the parents. This implies you can’t consider both and that the teachers don’t matter…this establishes culture. “
The problem with our school boards is that they come up with these plans to reopen. First it was January, then it’s February,” he said. “Now, who knows when it’s going to be. They are changing their plans purely because of the teachers’ unions. And that’s the only pressure they are listening to and they need to be listening to parents about when to get these children back into school.” ~Brian Kelsey
Society must stop shaming, questioning the dedication and placing blame on teacher as they react to a culture and environment they didn’t create.
It’s impossible to DO WHAT’S BEST FOR CHILDREN while IGNORING THE QUALITY OF LIFE for those who are paid too little to nurture and take daily responsibility for them.
Let me say this…
I left a career in corporate America to teach because I watched the dedication of my wife for 20 years. I actually took and passed two PRAXIS tests in 2008, but was immediately offered another corporate job that paid what many principals were making…I went for the money. However, after leaving corporate in 2018, I began teaching in 2019. My first two districts were a complete mess, however…
I absolutely love teaching and take this work very seriously.
My current district and school have created a great culture for teachers to teach. Yes, they have to react to the macro-expectations, and of course isn’t perfect, but have proven to be intentional in their care for teachers.
And, I haven’t once heard, WE HAVE TO DO WHAT’S BEST FOR STUDENTS as an excuse to add to the list of unrealistic expectations.
Teaching is a ministry.
Ministry is simply serving others.
In spiritual ministry, God states that we must treat those who minister to us with the highest level of respect…
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 (NIV)
12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.
It would be wonderful if our society would do this in education — they used to do so.
This is a legitimate concern of education professionals. Anyone who sees it as just another complaint is part of the problem.
When you selflessly help someone in need, at that particular moment, you’re the most important person in the world to them. God gives us opportunities every day to be someone’s hero, and too many times we chose not to do so. Here’s 5 easy ways you can be someone’s hero…
1. STAND UP FOR SOMEONE BEING BULLIED OR TEASED…
Whether it be a child in school or a co-worker, bullying is one childhood behavior that extends into adulthood. Some of those scars come from the abuse, while others come from the fact that no one stepped in to stand up for the person being abused.
How many times did you witness a child being bullied in school, and even though you didn’t bully them yourself, you didn’t stand up for them. Intervening means EVERYTHING to someone when everyone around them is having fun at their expense — and the cars last a lifetime. Let’s teach our children that bullying and teasing isn’t okay, and let’s make sure we aren’t letting that same evil behavior continue ruining lives into adulthood.
2. HANDLE PANHANDLERS WITH LOVE…
One of the most common responses to people begging on the street is either judging that they are drug addicts, alcoholics, or people who have lived foolishly. Many people reason that they are trying to scam people to feed their habits. However, years of ministering to homeless people has taught me that there are plenty of hard working, honest people who had catastrophic misfortunes leave them destitute. And, there are countless mentally ill people who are living on the streets. There are others who spend all day trying to beg for enough money to either feed their children or have a place to stay for the night. When you buy a meal or give a few dollars to someone who is genuinely in need…you’re their hero for the moment. Your $10 sacrifice is like $1,000 dollars to them. And, even if they are trying to scam, we leave behind a testimony of God’s love. Most importantly, God told us to do it…
Deuteronomy 15:7-8 (NKJV)
7 “If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the [a]gates in your land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, 8 but you shall [b]open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs.
1 John 3:17 (NKJV)
17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
3. ACKNOWLEDGE SOMEONE WHO FEELS NO ONE CARES.
There are so many lonely people in the world. So many people watching others laugh, smile, have conversations as they long for someone to acknowledge them. The beautiful thing is that a simple conversation or simply listening to someone who feels no one cares is free. There are even some homeless people on the street who don’t want you money, they just want to be acknowledged and be made to feel human. The sad thing is that when ignore someone who feels no one cares…we prove it to be true. But, simply acknowledging them is sometimes an answered prayer.
But, here’s the thing. We can’t stand up for someone being bullied, buying dinner for someone in need, or visiting someone who is lonely can’t be done to make ourselves feel like heroes. We can’t do it to make ourselves feel better than them. We can’t do it simply to let others see how ‘righteous’ we are… any of those reasons turns it into a selfish act…
Matthew 6:2 (NKJV)
2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
So, show God’s love to someone today, and let Him be the hero.
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