Teachers – A Meditation on Gratitude
It may sound a little odd to hear praise for teachers from a parent who supported his wife’s decision to homeschool. But teachers are not reason we didn’t send our kids to school.
The economics of education are backwards and its goals can be at odds with student’s interests. Here are some facts
- Teachers go into teaching to help students.
- Parent’s send their youth to school to have them well prepared for life.
- Parent’s pay for the education via taxes.
- The goals of the education system are established based on the needs of businesses
- Poorer communities, often with the kids who need the most help and support, can’t afford to pay for books, resources and good teachers
- Politicians, like those in Chicago and Detroit, make bad education systems worse with hair-brained schemes (e.g. Chicago’s decision not to fund pensions)
- Conservatives demonize teachers as greedy (see the quote below)
- Unions focus on the needs of the teachers with lip service to student’s needs
Sitting in the center of this maelstrom are the students and teachers. Navigating the challenges of relating to each other in overcrowded classrooms, contending with helicopter parents, special needs, political correctness, cumbersome regulations and procedures, active shooter drills, standardized tests, STEM, and ritalin.
Yes we all have difficult jobs and teachers get summer vacations. But to call the people who care for our children …
[A] horde of slovenly dressed, red shirted, vile slogan shouting , money grubbing teachers
– Internet comment thread
is pretty myopic.
Teachers have taken on a key role in human evolution. From an biological and emotional standpoint, the care and education of our children is the most important thing. If you’re familiar with evolutionary biology you know that we are all about passing on our genes. Even if you don’t subscribe to evolution, you can’t deny that we’re built to disproportionately care about our children and the children in our communities.
Yet, we’re prepared to insult and underpay the people who care for and teach our most valuable treasure – our children..
Personally, I went through the whole public school system, including a state university. I had many inspiring and innovative teachers. Mrs. Timmons, Mrs. Parks, Dr. Hay, Mr Howie, and Dr. Lehmann to name a few. After my parents and close friends, these are the most important people in my life. They struggled through dealing with me as an absent minded, wise-ass, professor in training. It couldn’t have been easy, and I’m better for it.
I am grateful for the teachers of this world who work in a system rigged against them to shepherd our youth forward to a brighter future.