THE PROBLEM WITH THE, “DO WHATEVER IT TAKES FOR STUDENTS” PLATITUDE…

Teachers aren’t robots, yet…

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 an never ending list of tasks because it’s ‘best for children’ while often ON THEIR OWN TIME THEY’RE EXPECTED TO give up their duty-free lunch to ‘build relationships’, as well as…

Contact parents,

Oversee extra-curricular activities/clubs/organizations,

Plan,

Create and update reports,

Create intervention logs,

Aggregate data,

Study data,

Report data,

Make and adjust plans according to data,

Make accommodations,

Unpredictable environment,

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.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

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