As a soon-to-be teacher, the future of our world will be sitting in the desks within my classroom, relying on me to teach them, mentor them, guide them, and love them. It will be my responsibility to facilitate a path to success to the best of my abilities. Success in school, success within their relationships, success in post-graduate studies, success in trades, success in the workforce, and success in life as a whole. That is both the reason I got into teaching, and the reason that I am terrified of teaching.
In the world today, it is becoming very difficult to create a safe and successful space within classrooms across the country. The world is, quite honestly, a dumpster fire right now, and that weighs heavily on everyone. Educational laws are changing so rapidly that it is difficult for teachers to keep up, and make it more difficult for them to teach every single day. There is a lack of support in the educational field, both because there are not enough teachers to fill positions and because the world treats them as martyrs. Teachers hold so much responsibility and are under incredible amounts of pressure on a regular day-to-day basis, but have been under even more in the past few years. The future looks somewhat bleak to those of us looking down the life-long path that we have dreamed of for such a long time. We are scared. I am scared.
As Teacher Appreciation Week is in full force, I think we should address what teachers really want. Teachers do not need mugs, water bottles, candy, etc.(not to say that those aren’t appreciated), what they really want is for you to see them. Truly look at what they are doing; the difference that they are trying to make, and then try to help them do it. Teachers do not want to indoctrinate students, they want to go to school, teach about things that they are passionate about, help students become responsible, successful citizens of the world, and they want to love kids. Instead of buying gifts, support your teachers by volunteering in their classrooms, let them know that they are valued through quick notes or emails, have your kids tell them that they love them and appreciate them, vote against things that make their lives harder, and stop expecting them to parent your children and then becoming upset when they do.
Teachers and Pre-Service teachers across the globe feel all of these things. We need the negative slander on education to stop. We need to be supported. We need everyone to understand that we are doing the best we can with what we have. We need you to let us teach.
A Future Educator.