There was a time, and maybe it’s even still true in some cases, that people envied teachers. They wanted their schedules… The holiday and summer breaks, the sweet hours – school’s over at 3! And, how hard is it to teach a bunch of little (or big) kids? If you are aware of current events in the news, you know that time may have passed.
Teachers know what most don’t. It is a tough job. To be fair, some teachers have a harder job than others. Some of us teach in schools where children come to school ready to learn and are supported by families in every possible way. Others teach in under-served areas where they are not only trying to teach, but also helping to meet children’s most basic needs. No matter where we teach, the job is one that requires great dedication, tremendous effort and hours well beyond those idealized by the general population.
I don’t know any teachers who stop working at the end of the school day. They are either finishing up work from that day or planning for another. I don’t know any who use their holiday breaks solely for themselves and their families. They are busily preparing for progress reports, parent conferences or lessons that begin when the children return from break. I don’t know any teachers who don’t use some of their precious summer “time off” for professional development. It’s a great time to spend uninterrupted time learning and furthering their knowledge of their craft.
Teachers have jobs that are constantly calling them. Their work is in service to others, to a greater idea, that of preparing children (future adults) for their future and the future of our world. Teaching is glorious. It is rewarding. It is satisfying to watch children learn and grow. It is also hard work. As another school year comes to an end, take a minute to think about a teacher who served you during your school years. Thank you to all of the teachers out there!