Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Terrific Teachers by Angie Ledbetter

“Modern cynics and skeptics...see no harm in paying those to whom they entrust the minds of their children a smaller wage than is paid to those to whom they entrust the care of their plumbing.” ~ John F. Kennedy

Teachers – where would we be without them? Working with special education students for the last three years, and now with “regular” ed. teaching Religion, I can say I’ve never met a bunch of harder working people. To teach, at least in my state of Louisiana, is a labor of love. Not a single person in this field is putting in 8 hour days (and then sometimes 4 or 5 more at home) for the fabulous paycheck. Teachers plant ideas, knowledge, and love of learning into fertile minds every day, and strive to keep things interesting in the classroom. I won’t mention the “unfertile” minds these masters of the schoolhouse have to deal with, because this is supposed to be uplifting and positive. *smile*

From Pre-K to college, it is teachers who keep kids’ brains from becoming totally absorbed with all things video and digital. Without teachers, I wonder if there would be continued book sells. Who else teaches our kids the importance of reading and literature? Who else does so much for so little? Teachers rarely get to see the fruits of their labor, and when they do, it is decades before a grown student returns to express his/her thanks for a job well done.

With increased incidents of horrifying campus killings, teachers should be earning hazardous pay instead of barely-above-poverty-level wages. And at least in my area, the three month summer is a distant memory. We don’t get out until mid- or late May and return on August 4th!

So, today I salute teachers, tutors, mentors, and all who impart knowledge to others, and do a great job...for the love of teaching. THANK YOU!


Kathryn Magendie said...

THere are some teachers who have "stuck with me" through my life - and, I guess they never knew this: perhaps I should try to find them and express my gratitude.

Nannette Croce said...

Thanks for bringing this to light, Angie. I think, not just teachers, but education in general is given short shrift when the money is doled out. Then we complain if the results are less than stellar.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Angie. That was wonderful. I can honestly say that I love my job as a second grade teacher, and I can't see myself in any other field. Teachers may be underpaid, but the fruits of our work are worth so much more. :) I do have to remind myself of that often especially when I've had a bad day. My hat goes off to all of my own children's teachers.

Mary Ann said...

Thanks for a well-timed boost, Angie. Just dragging in from a full day and then some--a seventh period "indoctrination" on testing strategies we can "re-deliver" to our "testees," I was going to say, as one principal actually announced over the p.a. system in another galaxy long ago.

High stakes testing--the month of March, when my school may drop yet another notch or fourteen (just a random amount--haha) on English/Language arts alone. Our state board of education will "take over" four Baton Rouge schools already. Wonder what they'll do with them.

We could be next. Literally, I thank God that I teach seniors and so am removed for the most part from the anxiety of standardized testing. Not that my recently diagnosed case of hypertension noticed. Perhaps I'm just a wee bit anxious about other school matters. Such as the lockdown my school experienced yesterday due to the presence of an armed female bandit in our vicinity. (She got caught! A victory!).

All of which you so vividly point out in your article. You wrote it true, again, Angie, and don't let anyone give us this hogwash about our "mission." When we act as the professionals we are, then and only then will we be treated as such. Just look to the frozen Nawth for confirmation.

Last time I picketed was '77, and I was heavy with child #1. Strangely, the entirety of the state's teachers came down with an unexpected case of blue flu, so much so that they actually gave us the day off in Lafayette Parish to drive to BR.

That's a long time ago. They've struck here in BR, once, before I hired on. How long could I last, I wonder.

Until it hurts.

Signed, A Grumpy Old Teacher
(a.k.a. MR)

Love you.

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