Teachers: Saints Not Heroes
Tonight our home is filled with equal parts nervous excitement and anxiety. Our oldest daughter, Anna, starts 7th grade at Jefferson Jr/Sr High School tomorrow and Norah starts 5th grade at Lumberg Elementary. Hillary continues her role as a preschool teacher at Lumberg. After a summer of a quiet office at Jefferson, my workspace will get much louder tomorrow as school is back in session.
As summer ends tonight and a school year starts tomorrow, my thoughts are with teachers and school staff like my wife. Some call teachers heroes but I disagree. I think we do teachers a disservice when we call them heroes. I truly think they are saints.
Being a hero brings with it a pressure to save students in a way that no one else can. But teachers are not heroes. They alone cannot turn a student into a fully functioning, successful graduate. Because far too many people with no experience in the classroom pass laws and make decisions regarding education, teachers feel this pressure and expectation to be a hero. To save the kids in their classroom and save their school. But they cannot do it alone. It truly takes a whole community to raise a graduate.
Instead of seeing teachers as heroes I think they are truly saints.
Teachers give of their time and energy sacrificially. We expect them to change the lives of students but we pay them a wage that doesn’t even allow them to find a safe place to rent or a home in the community they serve. Teachers give of themselves each and every day with the hope that they are making a difference in the lives of the next generation. Saints are revered. Teachers should be too. They should be treated like professionals.
So as teachers, staff and students in our Jefferson County Public Schools start school tomorrow, know that your community is behind you. Parents are behind you.
May this school year be one that you feel the support of your community and parents
May this school year be one that you see brief glimpses each day of the impact you are making in the lives of students, especially in February
May this school year be one that you grow in your professional skills and receive positive feedback from your administration
May this school year be one that you grow in your collaboration and sense of team with your school staff
May this school year be one that you feel encouragement instead of heavy expectations
Thank you for investing in our children!