|Picture Courtesy of MD Photography|
Weekends are essential for all professionals, but I think more so for teachers. Working day in and day out with students can really wear on your soul. As an educator, you become so ingrained in your student's lives (supporting, teaching, explaining, supporting, encouraging, parenting, counseling, supporting, crying over) that you need to have a break to regroup.
I am reminded of a poster at our high school. It listed all the services that teachers provide and then the tag line was "The Service is All Hours". I love the play on words there. It is a pleasure and an honor to work with the youth of today- to try and get them to see themselves as we, their teachers, see them- A chore to be sure.
In this effort to help the students visualize and achieve, we, as teachers may fall short. Much to the shock of the world (sarcasm) teachers are not perfect. But, as I have stated earlier, I don't claim, nor WANT to be a perfect teacher. It is the daily adventure that makes teaching attractive to me.
I guess the disenchantment comes when you work really hard to prepare lessons only to have the students totally disengage from what you are doing- or attempting to do. I can't always fix that, and I am working hard to not let it discourage me. After all, I offer after school help twice a week (rarely anyone stays), I offer lunch help and STRONGLY encourage students to to stay in at recesses and get help (rarely does anyone do so). Now, with the passing of bills that tie my paycheck to student achievement, I can see a new era dawning.
Teachers will fight back. See, if a student fails on purpose, the teacher will then fail the student. In high school, this could wreak havoc with scholarships and graduation potential. In elementary....really nothing to hold over their heads BUT grades, of which fewer and fewer students give any heed to. Teacher's will also abandon all teaching styles to "teach to the test". It will be a sad day for schools when teachers will become "Drill and Kill" masters once more in an attempt to get their students to pass "the test". Sadly, many of us have already started to leave the creative path for the more direct path.
What does all this mean? I'm not sure, but time will tell. But for now,
I am looking forward to a new week and an opportunity to once again work to convince students that math and reading is important, and to work to support and encourage, counsel...