I support #OklahomaTeacherWalkout. Those educators are not abandoning their students or their profession. They are advocating for better treatment of themselves AND the profession. I am baffled by the fact that the arming of teachers is being discussed and funded, yet funding for basic school needs are consistently depleting.
Educators beg for school supplies (pencils, copier paper, markers, etc.), technology (that works properly and consistently), and livable wages. I know educators who works several jobs on top of teaching 8+ hours in a classroom with 18+ children. Many of my educator friends have families they rarely spend quality time with due to their work schedules. And, if you think it’s bad for educators, think about the paraprofessionals, bus drivers, custodians, CNPs, etc. Their wages are even more of a disgrace. It’s disheartning the way education is disrespected and overlooked. Education is the profession that makes all other professions possible.
Many have spoken about “bad teachers”. My take on that is, that “bad teacher” may just be overworked and underpaid, frustrated and exhausted. I’m sure that “bad teacher” didn’t start out bad. He or she may have been completely optimistic and life-changing. Then, life happened. Because, it does. It happens. Many instances in our lives can’t be avoided and we all have had moments of weakness, failure, and total depletion of optimisim. I am in no way stating that it is okay to be a “bad teacher”. I am a person who tries to find the positives within negatives, happiness above sadness, and strength through weakeness. My life has not always been easy. We have all had trying days, weeks, months, YEARS. It happens.
So many educators are on antidepressants or anxiety medication because of the downpour of fault and demand plastered upon them. Look, teaching and oftentimes RAISING a pers
on’s child is NOT easy. It is HARD. And, not having support from administrators, parents, and community leaders will make it even more stressful. Always finding fault on educators for a child’s behavior is wrong. Blaming an educato
r for not being able to make double digit gains when even a couple points is worth positive acknoeldgement is wrong. Demonizing an educator for not spending day and night at school is wrong. Not supporting educators is WRONG.
Society needs to do better with its treatment of educators, with education. We have people making decisions about education who know nothing about it, who have never taught one class, who have never taken one education course. Why? It isn’t logical.
Disclaimer: The thoughts above are my own and do not in any way reflect those of my employer or colleagues.