I am weary. beaten down. mocked. ridiculed. disparaged. but you can just call me ‘teacher’. Other than the endearments of ‘wife’, ‘mother’, ‘sister’, ‘friend’, I’d most like to be remembered as teacher. it is my calling. My vocation. What i was meant to be. What I was meant to do.
And i love doing it. From the very first day over twenty years ago, when I lost my composure the minute the last student left, to the PLC that had me in tears a few weeks ago, and even today with a challenging student in my last class, I have known that this is it for me. I do it because it changes not only the students with whom I interact, I do it because it changes me. I am a better person for it.
I graduated from the University of Delaware’s education program well prepared. As confidently as I began, I knew there was much to learn, and eventually, maybe years later, realized that what I had yet to learn was infiintely greater than all I had mastered. For me, it has been a lifetime of simultaneous teaching and learning.
I am weary of the vitriol poured over the heads of educators in all varieties of arenas, as if we are the enemy. As if we are not to be trusted to relate to the public the true conditions exisiting in many public schools today. As if we are about the task of pursuing any means of escaping our responsibililties. As if we are purposely promoting falsehoods for our own gain.
Teachers have 40 and more students in their classes in my district. Students with IEP’s and behavior plans are included in these numbers. What human being can realisitically meet those kinds of needs on a daily basis without paying an emotional and physical price? How are the needs of these students being addressed? How are they being ignored? Does anyone care to know the truth? Don’t ask a teacher. Teachers can’t be trusted, they just want a paycheck and their summers off.