9 December 2013
In the season of reflection and thanks, this post is dedicated to those who give countless hours and their emotional investment to receive little in return. The educators across the world that work hard everyday to make sure our youth is prepared for an unforeseeable future. It's a task many of us never even consider. We each have our reasons, but let us not forget how important teachers are to our daily lives... and future.
Here's a story shared by a colleague of mine. Please take a moment to thank the educator in your life or take a moment to think how a mentor, teacher or role-model shaped who you are today.
We were all sitting around the dinner table discussing life and the man across from me decided to show his brilliance.
He said the problem with teachers is, "What's a kid to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?" He reminds the other dinner guests that it is true what they say about teachers: "Those who can, do; those you can't, teach."
I decided to bite my tongue and resist the temptation to remind the dinner guests that it's also true what they say about lawyers. After all, it's dinner, and this is polite company.
"I mean you're a teacher," he says, "Be honest. What do you make?"
"You want to know what I make? I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could. I can make a C+ feel like a Congressional Medal of Honor and an A- feel like a slap in the face. How dare you waste my time with any thing less than your best? I make parents tremble in fear when I call home; 'I hope I haven't called at a bad time, I just wanted to let you know about something Billy said today. He said, 'Leave the kid alone. I still cry sometimes, don't you?' And it was the noblest act of courage I have ever seen. I make parents see their children for what they are and what they can be. You want to know what I make? I make kids wonder. I make them question. I make them criticize. I make them apologize and mean it. I make them write. I make them read, read, and read some more. I make them spell 'definitely beautiful,' over and over again until they will never misspell either of those words again. I make them show their work in math and hide it in on a final draft in English. I make them understand that if you have brains, follow your heart and if someone ever tries to judge you by what you make, pay them no attention.
Let me explain it so even a lawyer can understand. I make a difference in the lives of hundreds of children. It has its headaches and setbacks, and days that I don't want to do it, but it is what I do....Now what about you? What do you make?"
Show your appreciation. It's easy! Offer to help out in the classroom or an after school activity, offer to do some grading, send some materials to the classroom so they don't have to buy it, ask an educator to talk about their students and watch them light up, heck even an apple will do, its a bit outdated but the gesture is grand!