Dear Commons Community,
This week is National Teacher Appreciation Week. And Tuesday, May 8th, is National Teacher Appreciation Day. The United States Department of Education is hoping that people will take to Facebook and Twitter to thank a teacher who has made a difference in their lives.
Charles Blow in his New York Times column tells of his mother who was dedicated teacher who taught him many of life’s lessons.She worked in her local school system for 34 years before retiring. Then she volunteered at a school in her district until, at age 67, she won a seat on her local school board. Education is in her blood.
“Through her I saw up close that teaching is one of those jobs you do with the whole of you — trying to break through to a young mind can break your heart. My mother cared about her students like they were her own children. I guess that’s why so many of them dispensed with “Mrs. Blow” and just called her Mama.
She wasn’t just teaching school lessons but life lessons. For her, it was about more than facts and figures. It was about the love of learning and the love of self. It was the great entangle, education in the grandest frame, what sticks with you when all else falls away. As Albert Einstein once said: “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.”
She showed me what a great teacher looked like: proud, exhausted, underpaid and overjoyed. For great teachers, the job is less a career than a calling. You don’t become a teacher to make a world of money. You become a teacher to make a world of difference. But hard work deserves a fair wage.”
Mr. Blow’s message is sorely needed as a balance to the so-called “education reformers” and their corporate partners who relish in bashing teachers at the same time that they are trying to turn education and children into profit centers.