This Teacher Appreciation Week comes at a very challenging time for educators everywhere. This being said, I wish the following TOP 10 for our profession.
1. May our job performance be judged in more ways than using a Number 2 pencil such as the love of learning we spark, the sense of curiosity we ignite, the sophisticated literacy and mathematical foundation we lay, the life lessons we teach, the look only we can understand that shows how much our students look up to us, and the community of citizens we raise.
2. May we be given the respect and dignity to make decisions (based on our education, experience and expertise) on what's best for our students.
3. May our school systems be run (at all levels) by politicians who collaborate NOT alienate us. Our schools, our children and our livelihood are not to be belittled to dollar signs, corruption and one's political agenda. It's just not OK. Saying "it's for the kids" does not mask the evil.
4. May we begin to unite, to come together, to be joined by parents, friends and families to protect our profession! There has never been a more crucial time to start a plan. Before others judge us and throw around hurtful one-liners, may they take time to learn what is the "real deal."
5. May the most needy, poor and unstable children continue to get many of the most dedicated, qualified and passionate teachers out there--they need us most.
6. May our families, our personal friends and our spouses/significant others, continue to put up with us--the stress we take home, the extra/unpaid work we take home that takes us away from you, and the physical and mental exhaustion we face at the end of each day.
7. May both our future and current children of our own (or in my case my doggies) continue to grow despite the fact that at times our attention may be taken away, in part, to raise a class of 20+ children.
8. May we be free from financial stress. May you receive a raise that meets the cost of living. If you do get one, may your insurance not be hiked so that in reality you make LESS than you did in years past.
9. May we not lose hope in our profession. It's still the best one. It's still the one that teaches ALL THE OTHERS. Stay strong and encourage-- not discourage our very brightest to be future teachers. We need them.