As a Junior in college majoring in education, the last thing I want to hear is that my profession is what's wrong with America. Not only that, but politicians are fighting to "abolish" the Department of Education but at the same time feel that education is the primary basis our country is lagging. Well, to me it sounds like America needs a couple of folks who specialize in the field of education to make educational decisions. All educators and researchers need is the community's trust and support. Instead, we are met with anything but support and trust is far from anyone's mind. We have lost all respect. I agree, however, that some teachers are incompetent while many others remain stagnant, but please do not overlook the efforts of our most effective teachers, our most experienced teachers, and our most caring teachers. These are the teachers that are making a difference. They are producing quality results in America's future generation. So, why are teachers under so much stress? Well, simply, because somebody had to take the blame.
Why, oh, why does an excellent teacher like Randy Turner rise every morning to meet the pressure of the American citizens on teachers in the privacy of his own home? Faced with ridiculous opinions and accusations like being a "lazy, incompetent pervert, stealing taxpayer dollars and operating a private playground to prey on children", Turner instead see's himself as a positive role model, a vigorous educator and especailly not some pervert out to prey on children.
What happened? Did someone look at the "sorry" state of America and just decide to blame teachers? Clearly, the education system has lasted over 30 years. So, I can assume that some of these same people pointing fingers went through that exact same educational system. When exactly did teachers of this generation teach our former politicians, intellectuals, etc? And, if you happen to be one of those politicians--one of this country's decision-makers-- or an intellectual, are you suggesting that we assume the reverse? Are you instead not so smart? Are the decisions you are making not so intelligent and moral? That's only something to consider.
Teachers inspire. They serve as "intellectual midwives" (as Socrates would say) who extract knowledge that is "pregnant" within our minds. They cause you to think critically and challenge previous notions and ideals that have been accepted as true. Last but not least, teachers open the door for students to be self-learners. This means that students begin to go out and seek knowledge. They begin to get pleasure out of learning and become life-long learners. They come intune with one of their many multiple intelligences. They find their passion. They live life doing what they love and learning every step of the way. And, they can thank some previous teacher for instilling in them the power of learning and the determination to never give up.
Thanks why we become teachers. So, in closing, I urge all critics to take a look into your past and remember that one educator to push you to your peek. Remember the teacher that help you become a self-learner, who made you challenge everything you once held true. Thank that amazing educator, and know that we teachers are doing the same things in our classrooms, our communities, and our hearts.