Since my first week of working within the world of education many years ago, I have thought it a dichotomy that so many “official” teacher sites, blogs, news articles etc. written by educators or reporting for an educator or educational organization, were often negative in context.
Education in its nature should be positive as teachers affect the lives of so many and so many who will affect OUR future.
A few weeks ago I was having a very interesting conversation with a group of parents who asked me my thoughts on teachers or educational organizations who make negative “public” comments in social media. Comments that speak to summer vacations, too much work with little pay, students who cannot behave in class, teachers now have to be the parent etc. When this group asked my opinion, I had to pause, calm my spirit and regroup because I wanted to make sure that my words did justice to my profession and the many amazing teachers I have had a privilege to teach next to or lead. I also wanted to ensure that my view on teachers having a “choice” to choose education as a vocation versus a career came across clearly.
In any profession, there are those who have not been able to train their eyes to see the good and may find it easier to complain versus enter into solution oriented dialogue. However, the difference with education, is that we as a society should hold those who teach our children, young leaders of tomorrow, to a higher standard. If a teacher is prone to complaining, how does that natural instinct play out in a classroom? Does it affect his/her teaching effectiveness? I would think it does.
As an educator and now an administrator, I expect that my parents and quite frankly my team hold me to standard where they can expect me to choose to be positive, to lead with high expectations, and to see the good in them and in each child placed in my care. As educators, we do not have the luxury of going to work in a closed environment. On the contrary, we are observed by all we encounter…peers, parents, and students. Many watch daily to see how we will handle the difficult challenges we face in education, in the classroom, the teachers’ lounge or the carline. When we allow all these outside forces to affect our work performance, more than just a simple task gets interrupted, we can alter the life of a child.
The role of an educator is essential to creating a better tomorrow. The teacher plants the seeds that will one day grow to help cure cancer, help end hunger and help eradicate hate in our world.
Education is a vocation because those who choose to teach, should only do so because they feel a calling to make a difference in the lives of others. Being an educator is not for the weak at heart or the negative nelly. Being an educator means being able to see the good even when others can’t. If discerning if education might be the right path as your future career, I would encourage a self-inventory. If it is easier to be drawn into the negative, to complain versus create and solve problems, education is not the vocation for you!
May we all continue to see knowledge in all things…