Teachers are Heroes

Teachers are heroes, and we don’t need to even argue that point. To do so tells me that you don’t have a clue what a teacher really does. To say that a teacher doesn’t see the madness of the American education system and still chooses to go to work everyday, only implies that people don’t look deep enough into the heart of a person that has probably shed more tears for your child than you, because they see the problems your kids are too scared to tell you about. There is no doubt that teachers are heroes, so maybe it’s about time we start treating them like one.

The American education system is broken, and we don’t give a damn to fix it. We haven’t looked at the flaws strategically and sat down and tried to systematically change them. We have merely done what we have done for decades, and passed the responsibility on to the people in the classroom. Teachers are tired, and it’s not because they don’t love the kids, the kids are the only reason teachers haven’t put up their middle finger and all quit at the same time. Teachers understand that you can’t leave one child behind, because that one child matters. Society may look at a kid and just brush him off, pass him along, say he is just a rotten egg. Not teachers, they have seen this kind of kid before, they know why he is the way he is and they refuse to be another lashing to his ego. Teachers care because they see first hand the devastating effects of a family environment that doesn’t. A lot can be said about how well a child develops with just some love and encouragement, and just like a hot meal, sometimes the only place a child gets these precious components of life is at school.

Heroes are asked to run into a burning building and save lives. Teachers are being asked to run into the burning building and stay there, oh and save some lives in the process. Better yet, a teacher is asked to spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars of their own money to decorate and supply the rooms in the burning building. They are told to make due, they are told to just get the job done, but they are also told that every child must perform the same. 

Teachers are asked to teach fish to climb trees and then penalized because the fish aren’t climbing as well as the other animals.

The system is broken, and we need to change it. We can’t fix it, the education system that is, because what we have learned over the past decades of failed policy, that not every kid is the same, not every environment is conducive to learning, and not everyone is going to score well. The answer is not going to be easy, but we aren’t even asking how to change it. We aren’t inviting the one entity that truly knows the inner workings of the system to the discussion table. We are merely telling teachers to shut up and teach. We are asking heroes to forget the passion that made them heroes in the first place

Think back to your childhood and there is a good chance you can name most, if not all, of your teachers. There is a reason for this. They impacted you, they changed you. And yes, for some, the teacher is the person they spent the most time with. We ask alot of teachers. An educated society is a better society, yet we haven’t been able to grasp that concept. A high tide raises all ships, and we refuse to put time and money into the ocean that is the education system. If we want to make America great again, maybe we should try and figure out how to make America the best educated people in the world, and then see what happens. 

Teachers can change the world. We know this because we see it every day. We hear the stories from adults that credit a teacher for saving their life (literally and figuratively), for encouraging them when they had no one else that would. Teachers have the ability to make the world a better place because they have the magic to change lives. And if they can change one life, then they can change many. You think the world is a bad place, then go help a teacher out, tell them you believe in them and are willing to help them shape young minds. Teachers can change the world, because that’s what heroes do, if you just let them do it.

Somewhere in the corner of a small classroom, sits a teacher, trying to figure out how she is going to get through to her students this year. She is sitting in a tiny chair that in a couple days will be occupied by a tiny person, that will look to her for help, that will ask the questions little people ask, about the world and about life. The teacher is going to have to figure out how she is going to keep this child safe, and keep this kid interested. She is having to figure out what to do in case they can’t come to school anymore, and she is trying to figure out what that looks like. The teacher, sitting in the tiny chair in the corner of her classroom has a lot of things she needs to do before the start of school,  but first she has to stop crying, because, well that’s just what you do when no one listens to you.