At this time of year it is a good time to honour classroom teachers. As I wrote not too long ago, Prime Minister Harper recently honoured them as well. They are dumped on by the public so much of the time for the problems within the system, their accreditation bodies, their union leadership and the various provincial government’s — all situations beyond their control or influence.
What they can influence, however, are the children in their care — in loco parentis — in place of the parents. Like parents, they love children and they want only the best for them. And, yes, in spite of two months vacation every summer, teachers work very hard. For all those who complain that they work just as hard, that may be true. But, that shouldn’t take away from the dedication and commitment most teachers have for their jobs.
And, contrary to popular opinion, most teachers do not have two months off in the summer. Both my husband and I had to complete our university and graduate degrees during that period — all so we would be better teachers.
So, for today, let’s look at what teachers do in the life of our children and grandchildren. Think about it. Children spend most of their day — and young lives — with their peers and their teachers, not with their parents. As a result, the affect those teachers have on their outlook on life is tremendous.
What is nice is that at this time of year, most people put aside all their grievances with the “education system” and think of individual teachers. It is the time, as Moira MacDonald writes, when parents and their children frantically look for just the right thank you card or end-of-the-year gift — a gift that is personal enough to show that the child and his or her parents really do appreciate all the teachers have done during the year.
One teacher I have been following this year is a high school English teacher. He has his own blog called “The Lamppost.” Take a visit to his blog. He obviously stretches his students to the max to cover not only current affairs, but the classics — literature and philosophy both. He is an example of how dedicated teachers can be and I know there are many more out there in the blogosphere that I have missed.
To teachers everywhere, thank you. And, if you got another collection of thank you “mugs” this week, just start another shelf. Each one will remind you how important you are in the life of the children you teach.
H/T to Cathy Cove for MacDonald’s column.