Job Vacancy: Teacher. Short workdays, weekends off, long vacation and all public holidays, free training, guidance, and support, come and be a part of a highly respected, highly regarded community team. It sounds good doesn’t it, yet without the compassion and dignity that teachers, almost without exception, devote to their vocation, education could well be a broken concept, all... over... the... world! Teachers are amazing, fantastic, and outstanding, and yet, when the kids get it wrong... it's always the teacher's fault! What happens then is that teachers are criticised, by the parents as a convenient scapegoat, for being lazy, with short working days and too many holidays, and don't care! Parents.
If only you knew, cared to ask, or looked at yourselves first! Especially during the pandemic, teachers, almost without exception, toiled above and beyond any prior expectations of them in upskilling quickly, impossibly quickly, to provide lessons on Zoom and Teams, creating new resources, learning about, understanding, and implementing, the new dynamics of a completely new, alien almost, method of teaching and learning. Think of the difference between walking everywhere, and then having to roller skate everywhere, including upstairs, and you get some idea of the magnitude of that commitment.
Imagine too, as parents, where you would have been without the virtual learning experiences, the full-time teacher engagement with that online teaching and learning. Too many memories are too short, and just because Summer has arrived, and the kids are around your feet all day, you appear to think it's okay, once again, to make light of your teachers. I guess that is human nature, short memories, and facile thanks indications of a sector of the community so callously taken for granted.
Across the last decade teachers have learned to embrace new technologies, but, unlike most people, not for their own, selfish, benefit. The new teaching smartboards, and associated Internet, www interactions are incredibly powerful teaching tools, however, they can also be remarkably frustrating if they are not used with knowledge and skill, the 'how to,' part.
The growth too of the identification of neurodiversity issues among learners is something educational authorities are becoming increasingly aware of, and also more aware of the need to provide learning support for the affected learners. Schools, and consequently teachers, have borne the brunt of the differentiation required to appropriately support dyslexic, dyspraxic, discalculia, Aspergers, ADHD, autistic, and other neuro-diverse learners, in what is a truly humbling display of compassion and professionalism.
Classroom behaviour too has slipped into a void of neglect, as parents defer much of the disciplinary element of their children’s behaviour to schools and teachers. What’s to blame for this? Social media, television, mobile phones, the collapse of society? Nobody can solve it all in a news bite, but don’t worry... their teachers will fix it when they get to school! Trust me, I’ve heard it all before.
How many parents out there have never taken a moment to look in, at school or college, or university, to see and understand their kid’s experience. How many parents out there have never attended a PTA meeting? How many parents out there have never cancelled a teacher conference, and how many of you have never looked at a school report without doing a genuine debrief with your kids, and no, I don’t mean a “well done,” or a “not good enough.” Really? Your noses will grow... This, on top of what have over the years become significant documentation obligations, child safeguarding imperatives, quality assurance targets, continuous professional development requirements, school and parent/teacher meetings, assignment, test, and exam markings, invigilations, and lesson preparations. All the time, presenting a knowing, understanding, informative, professional manner and appearance... and incredibly, usually smiling, because that’s just who... and what they are.
Almost without exception, teachers have committed to improving lives. Don't just understand them though... appreciate them... teachers will never, never, never ever... be paid enough for all they do... most of it in your name... but a kind thought goes a long way...