I could never be a teacher. I know this about myself. I am not patient. I mean, I have a newfound amount that came with the birth of Isaac, but I still do not really consider myself an overall patient individual. I taught Gen Bio labs while in grad school, and can I just tell you how much that took out of me? I mean seriously, kids, if you can't figure out how to turn on the damn microscope by the last week of class, MAYBE YOU SHOULD RETHINK THE PREMED MAJOR. Just sayin.
Anyway, I know this about myself. I don't have it in me to be a teacher, let alone a GREAT one like some of the ones that I have had throughout my education. Seriously, I have had some amazing teachers. And when you are in grade school (My third grade teacher was PHENOMENAL, my favorite to this day), you don't think about the sacrifices those teachers are making for you. I grew up in a small town. My graduating class was like 129. We had drive your tractor to school day (SERIOUSLY) and got out for junior fair day. But still, I had teachers that cared enough to make a difference and impacted my life in such a way that I went on to follow my dreams and to think that I can and will achieve them. My HS biology teacher gave me this profound love of science that still burns within and my math teacher made it FUN AND UNDERSTANDABLE. I still use my high school calculus notes. In college, my favorite professor CHANGED MY WAY OF THINKING. He made me into a scientist.
Anyway, I had the honor to be exposed to these wonderful teachers. And throughout my life, I have had the honor to get to know other teachers, who just happen to be my friends.
And let me tell you, I love my friends. And I hate hearing that they are treated poorly, or struggling. Especially when they are doing something for other people, like TEACHING. Of all my friends, I would have to say that my teacher friends, no matter what grade level, make the least amount of money, work the hardest, and get the least gratitude in their positions.
I get that some professions deserve to be high paid. Like doctors. I see no reason why a brain surgeon who saves lives day in and day out shouldn't make a high amount of money. But an actress? Or professional athlete? Give me a break. Don't get me wrong, I like movies as much as the next person. And TV. And I have been known to watch some professional sports. Bit let me be frank in saying in no way, now how do those people deserve to make more money than the people who educate and shape our children. No. Way. In my opinion, they are saving lives in their own way, just like the aforementioned brain surgeon, in their own way.
Ihear the struggles my friends have. And while on my recent trip back east, I saw the struggles of one friend who teaches science to high school students in a not so nice neighborhood. How she does it, I do not know. I can't fathom. The hours she puts in, the time. The time away from her family and friends, away from her home. The money that comes from her own pocket. The energy, oh THE ENERGY she has to muster. I couldn't do it. Flat out, I could not do it. I saw first hand what she deals with on a day-to-day basis. I just couldn't.
So even though I am not a teacher, I hold them near and dear. And I hope there are some drastic changes to the educational system before my children are immersed in it. A MILLION THANKS GO OUT TO EVERY TEACHER THAT I KNOW, THAT HAVE SHAPED MY LIFE.
***This post was written after reading the letter posted by several friends, also teachers, who deserve mass props.***