Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Trying to scare teachers to death

They've tried.

They've tried really hard.

It seems like there is a conspiracy to scare teachers to death.

In fact, they have tried to scare almost anyone who works for a public school to death.

The dominant narrative is that public schools have failed, students don't learn, and teachers (and other public school employees) are to blame.

Yet, every day teachers and principals and bus drivers and food service workers and tech support staff and preschool teachers show up and do their job.


Because instead of focusing on those people who say public schools don't work, those that work for public schools focus on doing their job. When students are waiting for the bus, they bus driver shows up. When students want to eat, the food service staff provides lunch. When students want to learn, teachers are there to help.

The people who have tried to scare us to death are the people who have never been the teacher, the bus driver, the food service worker. They don't visit our schools. They don't ride our buses. They don't cook our meals. They haven't coached our teams, led our choirs, directed our bands and orchestras.

The student who just threw up - the teacher took care of that. And then continued teaching.

The student who threatened to beat up Jimmy - the bus driver talked him down. And continued driving the bus.

The student who finally aced the exam - the teacher silently celebrated while the student told all her friends about how hard she worked.

There are things that go on every day in a school that only those who work in a school understand and know how to handle. There are reasons to celebrate, reasons to worry, reasons to stand back, and reasons to jump in.

It's not that those who work in public schools aren't scared. It's that those who work for public schools understand that the students in our schools, the children in our communities need what happens in school. So they show up. They do their jobs. They figure out the answers to the problems. They dance when there are reasons to celebrate.

So you might as well give up trying to scare us. We aren't going away. We are going to show up every morning to do our jobs.

And . . . we will do them well.

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