I've always believed that teachers have the most important job in the world. They have chosen to educate our young; to prepare them to lead the world. That's not an easy job. And these days, their job is made worse by school violence, bullying, and racial/religious differences that weren't common even two decades ago. On average, world knowledge doubles every 13 months or so with some areas doubling as fast as every 13 months! teachers have to be prepared to lead our children in a world that changes quickly. Children must be able to adapt to these changes. And, thankfully, we have wonderful teachers who are doing their very best to teach and prepare their students for these changes, often under some rather poor conditions. And for not much money.
In honor of National Teachers Day, I thought it would be fun to list the top ten reasons why teachers matter.
10. The educate us. If you can read, write, think for yourself, or solve a problem then you have a teacher to thank. So much of what we know, we learn from our teachers.
9. They inspire us. Some of the worlds most famous people point to their early teachers as their inspiration. I know that is true for me. Oprah Winfrey credit her fourth grade teacher for being her "first liberator." Bill Gates remembers his Math and English teachers with "special reverence." And The award-winning British actress, Helen Mirren, dedicated an award to her English teacher. Every teacher inspires someone.
8. They are quiet heroes. A teacher's day doesn't begin with the first bell of school. Their day starts before their students are out of bed and often ends after their students are fast asleep. Children can be tough critics and yet teachers stand up in front of their young students every day with both patience and understanding.Teachers are the unsung heroes of every community.
7. They teach us life skills. The best teachers know that learning how to sew on a button or make a simple breakfast can be as important as learning your ABC's. Teachers equip their students for all aspects of life ahead. They teach practical skills needed to survive in the adult world as well as communications skills necessary to thrive.
6. They help us reveal our special skills. Every student has their own special gift or skill. teachers help to bring those unique talents to the forefront and show children how to feel them as well nurture them to make them grow. A careful, patient teacher brings out the best in his/her students and helps them reach their full potential.
5. They simplify the complex. It's the "ah-ha" or "eureka" moment when a student who's been struggling to understand something finally get it. That moment not only lights up the face of the student, but the teacher as well. Great teachers have that special ability to make even the toughest, most complex problems seem simple. It can take awhile, but those special teachers will hang in as long as need until the student understands it.
4. They make the mundane extraordinary. Teachers can find the cleverest way of making a subject fascinating. Whether it's using dance and drama to bring history to life or by baking a cake to explain plant cell structure, our teachers are creative geniuses who find the perfect way to make even the dullest subject seem fascinating.
3. They listen, coach, and mentor. teachers do more than teach. A great teacher knows how to listen as well as talk. They coach us in sports as well as in life. They mentor us and find ways for us to connect with our passion. teachers in the 21st century are now helping kids learn how to deal with violence and loss. Some are heroes in the truest form, giving their lives to save their students.
2. They help under-achievers fly and keep over-achievers grounded. That's no easy task! Teachers know who the students are that raise their hand for every question; those who need to be noticed and crave attention. They also see the quiet ones who never speak out. It takes the special skill of a good teacher to encourage the quiet ones to have the confidence to raise their hand while, at the same time, making sure the over-achievers remain respectful of their classmates. I don't know how they do it! I'm just glad that they do.
And I saved the best for last...or the Number One spot.
1. Teachers have the most important job in the world. They teach our children to be the kind of adults this world needs; smart, caring, compassionate, and creative. They work long hours, under trying conditions and don't get paid anywhere near what they're owed. Teachers are a gift we need to respect and be grateful for; not just on teacher Appreciation Day but every single day of the year.
If you're a teacher, I thank you. If you know a teacher, please share this post. Teachers ROCK!
Tomorrow is Wednesday and that means a visit from my wise teacher and friend, The Dharma Frog. I hope you'll come back and join me. Until then, I wish you peace.