Teachers Are Heroes
When was the last time you heard a real testimonial about school teachers?
It’s time for one, because for our country’s teachers, it’s often a long time between positive strokes.
I feel about teachers the way some, (admittedly jingoistic) Americans feel about their armed forces. They are heroes.
The job teachers do for our country is impossibly challenging and heroic. They struggle daily against immeasurable odds: bureaucratic trivia, egregious political interference, daily increasing professional demands , low salaries, public criticism and general under – appreciation. It is incredible to me that they come back each day, to help our children grow and learn. Teachers are legitimately heroic in what they do for our country.
“ Oh, Come on”, you’re laying it on a bit thick. My son’s teacher ignores bullying and the Principal wastes money on … (fill in the blank) – and they get two months off in the summer! “
At this time of high flying anti teacher rhetoric, I ask you to think again.
Our children, before ten years old, are learning about the physical nature of their world – what’s safe ,what hurts, the bases of language and mathematics, and how to get along as comfortably as they can without hurting themselves. They learn some of these lessons early from their parents, but they are expanded, clarified, and confirmed by their teachers, in a safe, controlled setting (school).
What a crucial contribution to their personal development.
Children learn well from adults other than their parents. This is not to cast aspersions on parents – it’s just true . Teachers have a more temporary emotional attachment to our children – they don’t have to get them to clean their rooms or take out the garbage each day. This lends teachers an objective credibility that parents don’t have. Teachers confirm and cement our societal values in our children every day.
We as parents, often have difficulty adapting to our child’s stage of development. Teachers seldom do –they’ve seen it many times before and they know how to respond. They don’t have to – but they consider it their job; besides, learning works better that way.
The “ teenage syndrome” includes some or all of: a developing allergy to parents, a desire for solitude, an increasing straining at the parental leash, and an exasperating conviction that their parents are not quite as bright as is their friend “Spike”.
During this important, tumultuous time, teachers are there for our children. Teachers have helped children through this phase many times, while we parents are usually astounded by the stage that our children (and we) are going through. Teachers help neutralize the influence of 7/11 loitering peers.
Teachers know how to avoid confrontation with tweeners and teenagers, how to come at them sideways instead of head on. The nuance involved in working with small children and angst filled teenagers is seldom recognized or appreciated.
Teachers are there for our kids. Despite peripheral noise – the accountability movement, education cutbacks, a critical media, and government nurtured parent power, teachers remain there for our children every day.
There are teachers who become jaded and in self-defense, look for the easiest way to get through the demanding days , nights and criticisms they face.Sadly ,this number increases as our commitment to public education decreases.For the most part, however, teachers work harder than most of us , and perform a function so crucial to our children, that they can only be considered heroes.
Teachers work daily to assure the continuity of our western way of life. They teach and model the qualities of personality our children need to successfully navigate life in the western world. They help our children develop these qualities of citizenship, sometimes despite conflicting lessons modeled at home.
The professional expertise and commitment of our teachers. who spend each day concentrating on our children’s development, is seldom recognized.Teachers sacrifice daily for kids and country and we should support them in their efforts.
Support our troops? Of course. Was there ever any question?
But at this time, as we stand at the crossroad between public education and whatever structure of segregation we might replace it with, we should find a catchy homily and a special coloured ribbon to adorn our car bumpers in appreciation of the heroic work done daily by our country’s school teachers.