It is tough to be a public school educator. This is my 30th year in my beloved profession. It is a calling for most of us; but as of the last decade or so, it seems as if people have come to believe anyone can be an educator. Not TRUE!
As with all things in life, change happens. Sometimes it is change that you cause to happen, sometimes you are not in control and change is forced on you. Educators by nature are curious and testing the boundaries of learning; how can we help prepare more students for the real world in front of them while understanding the world they are currently living in as our students? What has changed is the way public school educators are viewed. What has changed is the way education is delivered. What has changed is the way today’s students and parents think about their education.
Most polls one reads will show that the American public have lost faith in public schools. But yet, when surveys are taken at the local school district level the education is viewed as a positive experience overall. Much more highly rated than the national surveys. Interesting phenomenon. Teachers get berated and made fun of more and more. Students show less interest in learning and more interest in challenging or disrespecting the professional educator. And in too many instances, the parent will back their student’s poor choices.
The days of “the teacher is always right” when a teacher called home expressing an academic or behavioral concern are mostly over. The philosophy of building all students self-esteem by making them feel like they are smarter, faster, stronger, than they really are has permeated our society causing students to feel more entitled and more able to blame others for their shortcomings.
We must come together soon to support our educators. We must be honest in our approach to teaching they youth of today. It is time to do what is right to help all children learn to be productive members of our society. Believe it or not, today’s educators are the best we have ever had; the trouble is the profession has been brought to its knees by greed. Those who believe schools should be big business. The focus becomes “profit” not “learning.” Education becomes a commodity instead of the learning institution it was originally designed to be.
Public education has not been allowed to develop its own path to success. Instead, the development of education platforms, systems, curriculums, and pathways are being decided not by professional educators but by powerful businessman and the legislative bodies they control through pumping money to legislators through their lobbyists and pacs. It is akin to a teacher or principal or superintendent to develop a new way to conduct open heart surgery or design a new way to fill a tooth. Educators know their limits and roles, they would never try to do those things in the medical or dental professions yet, the business profession & legislative members in our states feel as if they know how to educate our youth today better than those who have earned a professional degree as an educator.
It is time to come together with the realization we have created an educational system that is broke. We are hurting the youth of today. We are hurting the future for all of us for the current reality of a few. The media follows the money and articles are written that take the facts/data and twist it to make education in our nation look bad when in reality it has never been better. It is time to come together and bring back the needed respect for our educators. It is time to understand that it takes parents, students, teachers and a community with a positive outlook towards education to turn this around.
It is time to come together and be honest with one another. Not to be hurtful but to be helpful. If we work together indeed we can improve our student learning in all students. But we must face the unpleasant facts that not all students will learn at the same rate or in the same way. We must allow our professional educators the leeway to utilize their knowledge and talents to help all students learn to their potential. Educators are here to support, guide, teach, encourage, challenge, create opportunities for success, and teach students to persevere when things get difficult. Parents must believe educators main duty is to help their child learn and that we want to work with them to make that happen. Educators do not care to blame, rather, educators seek to collaborate with all to help students achieve. Educators do not look at education as a business, unless that business is student learning. And you can’t put a price on that.