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We as Teachers Can Improve the Culture

Common sense tells us what a plumber’s job is. This is also true for an auto mechanic, a bank teller, a baker, and even a butcher. Do you think our culture agrees on the job of a teacher? I say “no” and it may never be so. Teaching is not as respected as a profession as it used to be. I am not sure why this perception exists. I’ve read the numbers in teaching colleges have fallen drastically. So how should the teachers who are doing it now it know if they are successful? Coming up with a common sense definition of teaching would be a good start. One person says a teacher’s job is “simply” to teach reading, writing, and arithmetic. Another says teachers are to be sources of inspiration. Others still might call teachers strict or even mean people. Teachers are often vilified in the news or in movies. For the life of me I cannot understand this trend. But we as teachers have to accept that we are not as respected as we once were. We can illuminate the profession of teaching little by little. I think it would help for every teacher to define her/his job description. This can be the lighthouse when stormy seas encroach. You might even put it on a frame above your mantle. As pay cuts and administrative crack-downs will inevitably continue, it’s going to take a strong sense of purpose to make a difference.

My definition of a teacher’s job:

  1. To teach
  2. To inspire

No matter what happens in politics or culture’s perception of teaching, I will continue to seek out ways to teach and inspire students. I am directed though my culture is not. I can help improve my culture by doing my job. I can help kids learn skills that get jobs. I can teach kids language skills to create art and passion for life. There is so much I have to offer. (Put yourself in that sentence) Technology that helps me do that more effectively I will use. I will never see my job as just “a  job.” I was inspired by teachers as a child and this is my chance to be on the giving end of that inspiration. Have I missed anything? Like a said, simple definitions are the best. Having said that, our job is anything but simple. We owe it to our culture however to remain focused and to do our job well.

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Damien Riley

Having been a public school teacher since 1997, I've gained valuable classroom experience. I believe the best tool for engaging students is a dynamite lesson plan. These posts are writings from my journey. I'm cre8vteach on Twitter. Thanks for reading!