A Letter to My Colleagues
This past week was the start of school in New York, and with the recent footage of the Republican and Democratic conventions, Governor Christie’s deplorable speech, and the fact that teachers, teachers unions, and the public educators have become public enemy number one, I felt the need to write a letter to you all. I write this letter to my colleagues, my fellow teachers, my principals, librarians, guidance counselors, teachers’ aides, and any members of the school faculty that I may be forgetting.
May you have a wonderful school year. May you remember that we went into this profession, this noble and honorable profession, because we wanted to do some good in the world. We became teachers, we became educators, because we wanted to inspire. Because we wanted to make this world a little bit better than how we found it.
Remember friends, that we teach because we care. We teach because we love it. No matter what the masses may say, we do not teach because we have the summers off. We teach because we know that it makes a difference.
Remember friends, that just because we care, just because we have passion, does not mean that we shouldn’t be properly compensated for what we do. Remember that when the haters and the bitter souls out there try to take away what you have worked so hard for.
You deserve what you have. You have worked hard for it.
Do not be afraid to remind the non-educator that your day does not stop when the students leave. More often than not, you will take your work home with you. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO, for when your students are in trouble, when they are hurting, upset, or have a bad day, their stories will stay with you. And they stay with you because you have a heart. Feel free to remind the non-educator that we too have to work outside our given work day, except there is no such thing as overtime. Papers do not grade themselves. Tests do not grade themselves. You do not have an assistant or a secretary to do it for you.
You do it yourself.
Remind yourself that you cannot do it all. Remind yourself that you can not do everything on your own. You can teach all sorts of ways…new, exciting, wonderful ways…but if education is not supported, or if it is undermined in your students home, well, your job just became that much harder.
Remind yourself that you do not teach for the politicians, the corporations, or even the parents. You teach for the kids. You are there to guide them, to help them, to get them to think on their own.
And that my friends, is a beautiful thing.
We hope you all have a wonderful school year. We look forward to the stories, and to what the future brings. And always remember; do not let the haters bring you down.
Live, Love, Learn,
Your Fellow Teacher