Letter: Why do you #LoveTeaching?
Over the past few years, education has had its share of challenges to overcome. From new standards, to fluctuating high-stakes tests, to teaching evaluation legislation and more, there’s a lot more weighing on the minds of classroom teachers than reading, writing, and arithmetic these days.
And it is taking its toll not just in Michigan, but in every state.
In a 2012 MetLife Survey, the lowest rate of job satisfaction among U.S. teachers was reported in nearly 25 years. Add to that the results from Gallup’s State of America’s Schools Report, which highlighted that not only is there job dissatisfaction, but there is actually a lack of engagement among U.S. teachers.
The implications can be seen in the stories of those who chose to leave teaching, or one-sided tales of teacher toil, propped up in social media. Certainly, none of these conditions are going to help attract individuals to, much less retain them in, our classrooms. And that’s why we need great teaching — for our kids.
Teaching is a noble profession, and arguably the one that gives rise to all others. A great teacher can change the life of a student, and also has the greatest in-school impact on learning. That doesn’t mean it’s always easy or fun to teach, but the challenges in teaching are not the whole story.
In fact, there’s another narrative to be told, the upside of teaching, and teachers should to be the ones telling it.
Last Friday, I attended the Grosse Pointe Public Schools amazing charity event, The Nspire Talks, where 30 kids from 17 Metro Detroit schools took the stage to give 21 short, inspiring talks and share their vision for a better world. These motivating young people are exactly the reason that teachers go into teaching and stay in it.
That’s why this week there is a national effort, called #LoveTeaching, to let the world know that teachers, in fact, do love teaching. It was created by teachers from Maryland, Michigan, and Minnesota to shine a light on the positive aspects of teaching.
Educators everywhere are posting on blogs and social media using the #LoveTeaching hashtag, pinning notes on bulletin boards, and some, including Michigan’s State Superintendent Mike Flanagan, are sharing videos, a la the “Ice Bucket Challenge,” to express their love of teaching and their favorite teachers.
So what’s the reason you #LoveTeaching?
Gary G. Abud Jr., instructional coach,
Grosse Pointe Public Schools,
2014 Michigan Teacher of the Year