Recently, I read an article in Education Week. Written by a high school teacher in Florida, it reminds teachers that children, in this case, teenagers, aren’t any different today. They still need emotional support. The article also reminds teachers of this.
Initially, I thought no reminder is needed, that teachers naturally exercise this power, daily. However, upon a little bit more reflection, I remembered what most high school classrooms are like. I taught at this level for five years.
I was bombarded by student- apathy on a daily basis. I worked with students that appeared to care less about taking responsibility for their learning and often seemed to not have the slightest clue about life beyond high school.
Then I recalled glimpses, moments of truth about these young people about to enter adult life. Moments appeared- revelations of fear and hope, of passion and sadness, of confusion and loneliness, of dreams. They were more than many showed. They weren’t that much different than me. Something different needed to happen, something on my part, a catalyst that opened their pod- people-shells, like the post-it note in the article.
Teachers are bombarded nowadays. They hear and see threats everywhere, threats like punitive evaluations, and messages of failing schools, the need for high-stakes testing. So many negative headlines. Survival is the norm now. It’s easy to lose sight that teaching remains one of the few front-lines that still holds profound possibilities.
Hang in there Teachers!
You’re are some of the most talented and righteous people on this planet!
You have to be!
Teaching is also one of the hardest jobs on this planet!
And nothing can replace you!