Support for Teachers, my mini rantPosted: September 13, 2012
A friend is in the Chicago Teachers Strike. Reading through the media slant, I think I get it. There are students to teach, parents to cajole, behaviors to modify, standards to be met, assessments to be administered, peer teachers to partner with, concerts to prepare, data to collect….there’s a LOT to do. And when you are trying to do this within pay cuts and poor building spaces, it can be overwhelming. I know many friends who are teachers spend wads of their OWN money to stock their classrooms and ensure students have the tools they need to be successful.
As a society, we elevate sports “heros,” spend billions to see them run, shoot, throw, score, and we set them on pedestals no human could balance on even in the best of circumstances. Those “heros” fall and we have spent countless hours and dollars on something so fleeting. Education is NOT fleeting. Education gives the opportunity to change circumstance. Education gives the chance to learn and grow for a LIFETIME! In my humble opinion, our society is so out of whack with where its priorities lie. I love a good ball game and in fact, plan to attend a college football game this weekend. MUCH can be learned through participation in sports…discipline, playing as a team, sportsmanship, humility, grace, mercy… but our priorities need to be checked if we are letting educational opportunities slide but fully funding sports (HS, college, pro). And the arts in schools…wouldn’t it be a hoot if school art programs were funded equally with sports? And wouldn’t it be cool if we cut pro player salaries by a couple million and shifted that to increase teacher pay? Agh, so many “and what ifs…”
I spent a couple hours this evening at the middle school where my youngest son attends. It was Back to School Night and while I don’t really enjoy going, I know it is important to make the home and school connection. He has a few phenomenal teachers this year. They have figured out how to share their passion for the subject they teach AND meet the standard assessment protocols and they are passing that passion for learning on to my son! (There are a couple who I would love to hear their name and retirement in the same sentence, but that’s for another day.) At the end of the day, if we put our kids into public school, we need to be ready to do a few things…
Pray = Teachers are human and need all the sustaining prayers possible.
Write/Call = When you see something good, let teachers know! When you need help with your student, let teachers know! We ALL need encouragement along the way.
Act = Get involved! Support your student by supporting the teachers and administrators. And not to exclude…support the people who make school days happen…cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers…
Bake (or buy) = When we break bread (or brownies) together, walls tend to start to fall AND the more they chew, the less they talk so we can get a word in about our kids. 🙂
Respect = If you are notified your child behaved poorly, listen first, then think, then respond. Your “angel” may have had an off day and the teacher needs your support to maintain a safe learning environment.
Oy, had no intention of spouting off…what I really wanted to share was this website! CEC Support for Teachers It is directed towards Special Education teachers, but there may be nuggets of wisdom which span General Education as well.