Ok, so I don’t mean to take anything away from the teachers who after hearing themselves referred to as losers are trying to own it in some way. But I do feel that I need to comment myself.
Often in situations of bullying kids are told one tool to deal with it is to own it another is to make it a joke. I don’t feel like owning it is the route I want to take and it is no joke. Teachers work so hard to be seen as professionals and I am not interested in playing games with terms that continue to perpetuate the idea that our job is easy or the old line those that can’t do…teach.
I think about the amazing work my friend Cait is doing to promote equity in her classroom. The time she is taking and the books she is working with her students to better understand.
I think about my wife and the kids she serves daily as both the Vice Principal of her school and the learning support teacher and the countless hours outside of school she spends worrying about her students on top of achieving a Masters degree to serve them better.
I think of my friend Ryan who on top of being a great Social Studies teacher and academic advisor he also coaches the Varsity Basketball team. As we put in so many hours outside of our job to both build stronger relationships with our students and community we also provide a chance for our students to participate in something they love because, well, finding community members to take on the time commitment can be difficult.
I think about my friends all over the world that work tirelessly to support their students educational, social and emotional needs. That often put themselves last and their students first.
I think about my wonderful teachers. The Mary Howards, Pernille Ripps, Donalyn Millers, Colby Sharps, Johnny Downeys, Roman Nowaks, Susan Vincents, and Kylene Beers. The champions of learning and teaching that I get the honour to interact with and learn from daily.
I think about myself. I think about the hours I put in because I love my job, I think about the conversations we have, the challenging topics we look at and discuss, the books we read the laughs we share.
When I hear the word teacher that is what I think about. We are doing the most honourable work. I will not allow someone to reduce me to a hashtag.
Let’s celebrate the greatness that teaching can be. Put the focus on that and let those who say otherwise occupy their little corner of the internet that believes in conspiracies and depends on hatred and divisiveness to achieve their goals.