Undervalued, Unappreciated, and Misunderstood

via http://www.simplycyfair.com/great-gift-ideas-for-teachers.aspx

I am very dedicated to what I do. I put so much of myself into my job. I don’t clock in or clock out. I am always a teacher. And I don’t complain about it.

My family, friends, and even neighbours know how much work and effort I put into my job. It seems to me, however, that the general public does not.

I feel undervalued, unappreciated, and misunderstood.

I’m not sure why elementary school teachers are viewed with such disdain. High school teachers and university professors seem to get a lot more respect. In my humble opinion, we are equals. We all educators and not one should be placed above or beneath another.

Normally, I wouldn’t care about any of this. I wouldn’t feel that I had to prove myself to anyone other than my students. I would just continue working as hard as I always do. But to be honest, my profession is under attack and I feel that I need to stand up and say something.

The government and the media reporting on this issue seem to make it all about money. They want teachers to take a two year pay-freeze. That sounds reasonable enough and I’d be willing to take the hit if we were in such dire need of saving money. But, it’s not that simple. So much money is wasted in the education system and I’d like to suggest that none of it is on teachers’ salaries.

We are professionals. We are well educated in ways to best  reach our students and we constantly upgrade our skills through the use of additional courses (which we pay for out of our own pocket.) We attend workshops to help sharpen our craft. We read the latest research and articles and apply that knowledge in our classroom.

I keep seeing that full-day-kindergarten commercial on TV. It’s a great program and I am thankful that it has been added, but it does cost a lot of money. The constant advertising for the program also needs to be considered.

There are some great ways we can save money when it comes to public education. There are levels and levels of middle management that could be cut out. I’m not sure that every city needs to have its own school board. We could probably twin cities up and streamline how things are done at the office and bureaucratic level.

Teachers are worth every penny we pay them. Don’t we want to attract the best of the best to care for our children on a daily basis? We shouldn’t treat them like second class citizens. It’s about time we show them some appreciation, show them that they are valued, and do our best to understand all that they do for our children.