Tonight I attended a meeting of fellow educators in Wisconsin. This post is for the bus drivers, the janitors, the lunch staff. paraprofessional staff and teachers every where. We are in this together. We have within our power the chance to change lives. Our caring attitudes and love of kids and learning is a gift we give because we want to, not because we are paid so well.
You would not blame the firefighter for starting the fire. The doctor for you being sick, the dentist for your toothache, the farmer for your hunger, the police officer for crime, so then why do we want to blame the teachers for what is happening in the schools? It takes a committed community and accountability from our leaders to educate our children. You count on the firefighter, dentist, trash collector, engineer...to do the job that you pay them to do. Why is being in education any different? Why can teachers not be paid to do what they do best, which is to teach? Instead a myriad of other things complicates and get in the way of education. Teachers contend with children that come to school with issues that are beyond their responsibilities. It is a challenge to teach a child that has no respect for authority. We as parents, as citizens in our communities, political leaders...all of us must work together to help the schools to educate the students. Merit pay- an incredibly shallow and ridiculous idea needs to be taken out of the conversation. We need to stop pitting one group against another. If an individual is not doing their job, then by all means their principal and mentors need to help them out, follow through, and if the necessary progress is not made, fire them. Not one person that I know, wants an unprofessional, lazy, and poor teacher in their midst. It makes all teachers look bad. Why would I not try my hardest, use every trick I know to have my students succeed day in and day out?
So, to all of the hard working people who touch the lives of children everywhere, every day, you are the unsung heroes for the vulnerable youth and the future of our society. We work together and we expect our leaders to do the same.