Monday, September 2, 2013

In Support of Teachers

As we celebrate the Labor Day holiday and the working people of this great nation, I wanted to take some time today to offer a special shout out to one particular profession. They are the last line of defense in our nation, keeping us afloat when so many factors conspire to bring us down. They are the ones charged with inspiring the scientists, philosophers, artists, writers and inventors of the 21st century. I am not talking about the military or the media. I am certainly not talking about politicians. I am talking about those great stalwarts of the classroom, TEACHERS!

I know that school is well underway this year for many of my teacher friends in both NC and FL, and I have already been praying for you each. I understand the challenges you face.  Many of you are overworked and under-resourced. You spend your own money to get the supplies you need to be creative enough to reach the students you love so much- and the ones that make you crazy! So much of the burden of turning children into young adults is done by you.  You get more hours a week with students than most parents do, and you are left to counsel, to love, to fix and to heal as well as educate. You bear an unfair burden in our society.

And get so little respect from those who make the rules, set the standards and write your paychecks. Teachers have been under attack in the legislature in NC, and not that long ago it was no better here in FL.  All over the country their job security and financial advancement have become linked to how well students take tests rather than the quality of their instruction- and trust me, those are not the same things. A college professor friend told me a few years ago that standardized test scores from high school students were getting higher and higher while incoming freshmen were getting dumber and dumber. They had not learned to think, to reason, to dig and to discover the joy of learning.  They had learned to take tests. He said that often the first question he was asked by new students was "what do I need to know to pass the test?" He tells them that if they will just listen and learn they will be fine in his class- and it freaks them out! Our public school teachers, many of whom are innovative and creative, are being forced to to "teach to the tests." Their students are evaluated not on what they have learned, but by what they don't know- because that is what standardized tests do. Even the regular tests are written by someone outside of their classrooms.  And then the teachers are given the blame for failures in our educational system.  It's so messed up. And because of these things, and our failure to pay them a decent wage, we are losing some of our best teachers.  And this has to stop.  

So today and in the days to come, reach out to the teachers you know.  Encourage them and let them know what a difference they make.  Pray for them. Let your local politicians know that you support giving teachers the income and resources they need to survive, and the freedom to actually teach that they need to thrive. It is up to us to step up and love on these incredibly important people and make learning THE priority in our schools once again.  Won't it be a great day when our teachers are paid like lawyers and our schools have everything they need, but the Air Force has to have car washes and bake sales to buy a new bomber? I can dream, can't I?  Good teachers can change the world.  Tell one that today. Happy Labor Day, everyone!

Because of Jesus,


Thanks for reading,and thanks for your comment!