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A Shout Out to the TEACHERS!!

Posted Sep 08 2011 11:44am
WARNING:: I am feeling quite fiesty passionate today. 

So many of my blogger friends (and real life friends....yes, I DO have some of those too!) are teachers.  I LOVE to teach, and I have for as long as I can remember.  I played school on a weekly basis for the majority of my childhood....and boy did I have a nice classroom, with name tags on each desk, and pre-made worksheets (with an answer key and red pen for me), snack time, etc. 
I have to be honest though. I am SO sick and tired of teachers getting a bad rap. In the media. In society. In general.  If one more person says to me" You get paid summers off....what do you have to complain about?" I really might karate chop them in the throat.

Teaching is a calling. A gift. And a blessing. So many of our little lovelies do not get the lovin' and attention they need at home, so no doubt we have an awesome opportunity to share God's love and witness to them.  Teachers are role models, mentors, encouragers, nurses, counselors, coaches, etc. That list can certainly go on. Sometimes, we are the only Jesus those kids see; we are the only adult who "cares"...So, you see, we have a HUGE responsibility.  I teach approximately 150 students every nine weeks.  I learn all of their names the first day of the nine weeks, and call them by their name to let them know I respect them. I begin class with a "life lesson" at least once or twice a week. You'd be amazed at how attentive they are when I share those insights....they pay attention during my "life lessons" than when I show them how to create a career brochure in Publisher or how to save their work to the Z drive.
{My yearbook picture from last year...}
I guess everyone knows by now about the pay cuts and furlough days.  I know some people already think teachers are overpaid, but I think that's bullcrap. Teachers help RAISE our children. They give them the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in life, all while nurturing them and inspiring them.  Teachers motivate the unmotivated, encourage the discouraged, and love the unloved.  Don't get me wrong- I know there are some sorry, lazy teachers in this world. But for the most part, people join this profession for the right reasons- because they love the kids and want to shape their future and change lives.  It isn't exactly a glorified or respected position, and even with my 3 college degrees I am still making less than $50,000 a year.  Teachers TEACH all the doctors, lawyers, surgeons, architects, and professional athletes that really do make the big bucks. The people that our society deems as a respectable profession. Our whole society FUNCTIONS because of education- and education thrives because of teachers.

We do what we're told, and make the best of it.  And ya know what, friends? Teaching is a LOT tougher than the rest of the public knows.  It's not just showing up and giving out worksheets.
Want a brief overview of what we do? I'm more than obliged to tell ya....We decorate our rooms in the summer. We plan units, and try to make them fun and interesting for the students, yet still align them to the standards. Yep, more NEW standards coming soon, and we'll align our assessments to those as well.  We create teacher pages. We search for new resources and fun activities. We plan lessons- write them out. We redo them to fit the needs of individual students (that's called differentiation). We adjust them.  We create common assessments.  We prepare students for standardized testing.  We grade student work. We write grades down in the grade book so we have a hard copy. Then we enter assignments into the online grade book. We stuff progress report and report card envelopes. We remind students a dozen times to bring them back to school signed by their parent.  We lend an understanding ear wen they can't do that because no one is home with them at night. We keep track of attendance, tardies, discipline. We assign homework. We attend meetings- faculty, professional learning, RTI meetings, etc. We go to workshops. We break up fights and deal with bullies.  We remind them to wash their hands after leaving the restroom and cover their mouth and nose when they are sick. We plan career fairs and field trips. We talk to parents- who are sometimes not very nice or supportive. We return e-mails and phone calls. We attend IEP meetings and parent conferences. We remind students to turn in their work. We learn every nine weeks, and remember them for the rest of the year so we can say "HEY ....." when we see them in the hallway. We celebrate their victories. Attend their sporting events, theater productions, and band performances. We chaperon school dances. We sponsor their clubs. We give them a hug when their dog dies. We create more assessments. We monitor their progress. We stay after school to grade papers and wipe down the desks with Clorox wipes. We spend our own money on supplies. We come to school when we are tired. Or sick. Or both. We dress up every day and greet our students at the door with a smile. We listen to the "drama" and remind them "this too shall pass." We comfort them when they get cut from a team. We document everything. We discipline when necessary. We do car rider duty and bus duty.  We teacher our kids more than just the standards- like character education, treating people with respect, the importance of first impressions, and self confidence. We let the kids know when we mess up. We attend more meetings, and do more paperwork. We read IEP's. We love on the kids some more. We smile and put on a happy face and positive attitude, even when we are wore SLAP out. Yea, we have lives out of school too....But we know our kiddos NEED us in our best form, every day, so we try to make that a reality for them. And we continue to do this....despite the pay cuts, furlough days, lack of community or parent support, and lack of respect from the rest of society. (P.S. I know this list could be longer....teachers, feel free to comment and let me know what ELSE you do!)
I would like for people to understand that teachers NEED summer to recoup, rest, and rejuvenate so they can be the best version of themselves the next school year. We spend all school year giving, giving, giving, and we have to make ourselves "whole" again.  We need a little time away from the kiddos to renew our love for them....and need time to spend with their own families as well!  And no, we DON'T get paid for summers. Yes, we receive a paycheck throughout the summer, but that is only because they divide our 9 month, 180 day (172 now with furloughs) salary by 12 months.  Which reminds me, by the way, to let you know that we only receive a paycheck once a month...so we also have to be brilliant budgeters.
Honestly, I am really, REALLY not open to any nasty comments about this blog post. This is mostly for my fellow teachers...to let them know I feel ya, appreciate ya, and keep on keepin' on because YOU are making a difference!!!!  If you have something ugly to say, perhaps you should click that little X and head on out....keepin' it to yourself is probably the best option right about now.  I am in a karate choppin' kinda mood today! (I woke up at 5 am to run 5 miles with the cross country team before school, so I'm blaming it on the 3 cups of coffee I've had since then!) :)

I really do love teaching. And I love my students.  And I just thought my fellow teachers deserved a SHOUT OUT today.

BY THE WAY....Could you read this blog entry just now? THANK A TEACHER. (Just sayin'.)
One Hundred Years from Now
(excerpt from "Within My Power" by Forest Witcraft)One Hundred Years from now It will not matter what kind of car I drove, What kind of house I lived in, how much money was in my bank account nor what my clothes looked like. But the world may be a better place because I was important in the life of a child.

Hebrew Proverb"A child is not a vessel to be filled, but a lamp to be lit".
AnywayBy Mother TeresaPeople are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered; Forgive them anyway.If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;Be kind anyway.If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;Succeed anyway.If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;Be honest and frank anyway.What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;Build anyway.If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;Be happy anyway.The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;Do good anyway.Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;Give the world the best you've got anyway.You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;It was never between you and them anyway.
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