I'll give you a warning: the email below is a bit of a rant!
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Perhaps you wanted to be a doctor. A nurse. An artist. A singer. A dancer. An athlete.
Maybe you’re doing exactly what you wanted to be when you were little. Maybe you’re like many of us and still wondering what you want to be when you grow up.
One recent night one of my children came into the bedroom a little after 10 PM. I’ll admit this knack teens have for opening up and sharing important stuff after 10 has taken me some getting used to. Why do these aha moments always happen at night?! Anyway, our child shared about wanting to be a teacher. My wife, a teacher, was thrilled. She got excited, asked good questions, and dreamt some with our child; she was ‘all in’ on this rare moment with a teen.
Me? I was already my after 10:00 pm crabby self. I pretended to sleep all the while trying to stuff down a really surprising thought: no, child, don’t do that.
It shocked me too. There’s not many who respect the teaching profession more than me:
But the teaching profession has changed- and in many ways- not for the better. The job of a teacher is so much more complex and demanding then the days when I walked “uphills both ways”:
I will be incredibly proud should any of my children choose to join the proud legacy of people who are teachers. I will be incredibly proud should this child choose to impact children’s lives as so many in my family have and so many of my friends.
I just wish we greater respected the teaching profession for what it can do, not disrespected for what it can’t. Until then, you and I have work to do to see that every school- every teacher- has a partner in teaching children on their path to becoming whoever they want to be when they grow up.
For those who teach, for those who work in schools, and for those who partner with 'em, thank you for all you do.
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