“Those who can, do…Those who can’t, teach”. What does that even mean?!? WAKE UP CALL!!!! Teaching is NO blue collar job!
Devaluing Our Teachers
Why is it that we look down upon educators but praise other professions? This is only my third year of teaching so I maybe wrong, BUT the future of AMERICA is sitting in my classroom! In classrooms across America! In classrooms across the world! We teachers help create doctors, lawyers, nurses, engineers, architects, etc. So it’s safe to say that every profession got their start from one common place: in the classroom.
Let Me See You Teach
Can you handle working 6+ hours Monday through Friday with 20+ children? Maybe you can answer multiple questions from multiple children at once. Or how about taking on the role of more than one person all in the same day? By that, I mean can you play mother, father, doctor, mentor, friend, officer, therapist, motivational speaker, lawyer, etc? Can you stay up late nights creating and recreating lesson plans making sure you hit all learning styles? Can you teach to make sure your students learn? If you answered NO to any of those questions, then it’s safe to say that teaching is NOT for everyone. Oh and FYI, that’s just SOME of the things teachers do!
Advice for the Educator
One of the best advice I’ve ever received during my undergraduate years at Barry University, came from one of my professors. Somehow during a class discussion, we got on the topic of how teachers don’t appreciate themselves. That topic alone led to the greatest advice I’ve ever received on my journey to become an educator. My professor told us, and I quote:
“It’s sad that when you go into a classroom, you never see that teacher’s degree hanging up. When you go to your doctors office, or to a lawyers office, he/she have their degrees hanging proudly. But why not teachers?…”
Well…teachers…educators. Why not?
It Starts With US!
As I continued my undergraduate studies and did my pre-internship and internship, the words of my professor stuck with me. As I’d look around the rooms of the teachers I was assigned to, I noticed one common thing: none of them proudly displayed their degrees within their classrooms. My professor was right. When I got my classroom in 2015, I made a vow to myself. I promised to hang not only my degrees, but my teaching certificate.
This school year, I was asked by my team teacher, “Why do you have your certificates up?” I smiled before quoting my old professor.
I say this to say that no one is going to value teachers until we start to value ourselves. Yes we must demand the same respect as other professions; but how can we expect others to respect us if we don’t respect ourselves? It starts by taking PRIDE in our profession. PRIDE in what we do. PRIDE in who we are: EDUCATORS!
Advice to NON-Educators
The next time you feel like belittling an educator, stop and think about all that we do. It takes a special kind of person to do what teachers do. After all, if you don’t have anything nice to say then…
You know the rest…
Until next time,