I come from a family of nurses. I get queasy at the site of anything dark red. In all the years I have been teaching, 21 to be exact, I have taken a good bit of flack from my family because of my DAYS OFF! Hello people! I am a salaried employee and I teach and get paid for 187 days a year. That is what my contract reads. When I am not teaching I am usually attending a workshop, conference, or seminar to help me become an even better teacher. Most of my nursing family work seven days and are then off seven days. Do the math. That is only 176 days a year. I work two weeks and 1 day longer than they do each year. My question is why do I get so much grief for being a teacher? I have a Masters Degree in English Education with concentrations in both Shakespeare and Miguel Cervantes. I received a National Endowment of the Humanities fellowship to spend 8 weeks of the summer studying with other educators -Cervantes. Still, the world seems to think that during June, July and August all we do is vacation. Others seem to think that those who can do and those who can't teach. This is one of my pet peeves. I may not make a whole lot of money but I do make a difference in the lives of the children I have everyday. An anonymous email I received yesterday prompted today's blog. When a teacher was asked what she made....her response was this:
"I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could. I make a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor. I make kids sit through 96 minutes of class time when their parents can't make them sit for 5 without an I Pod, Game Cube or movie rental. You want to know what I make? I make kids wonder. I make them question. I make them apologize and mean it. I make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions. I teach them to write and then I make them write. Keyboarding isn't everything. I make them read, read, read. They use their God given brain, not the man-made calculator. I make my students from other countries learn everything they need to know English while preserving their unique cultural identity. I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe. I make my students stand, placing their hand over their heart to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, One Nation Under God, because we live in the United States of America. Finally, I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life. Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, with me knowing money isn't everything, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because they are ignorant... You want to know what I make? I MAKE A DIFFERENCE. What do you make?" So next time you are sitting around discussing how MUCH money teachers make....think twice and ask yourself....would I walk a mile in a teacher's shoes? How many of you would deal with the tears, fears, mouths, illnesses and be thrilled to see one lightbulb come on....when they finally get it! I believe...those who can...do....and those who teach do more. You see....we....the teachers....are the reason the nurses, doctors, lawyers, whatever....are what they are. Somebody had to teach them. I did not grow up wanting to be a teacher. I hated high school. I am living proof that God has a sense of humor. He sentenced me to a life of high school....and I love it....the good...the bad...the pep rallys....the lightbulb moments. I get goosebumps because I am an artist of sorts....I mold children's lives. See you soon, Karen
To Joey, With Love....WINNER!
11 months ago