It’s not that they’re greedy.
A teacher from my child’s school told me just yesterday that after 23 years in the classroom, even with her national certification, she brings home $2600 a month.
It’s not that they’re lazy.
They work an average of ten hours per day, not including the weekends and they’re not paid for their “summers off.”
It’s not that they don’t like children.
I’ve seen this son of mine rocked in the strong arms of his teachers at rest time and his bus driver? She smiles and laughs at his joy every afternoon.
It’s not that they’re complacent.
Classrooms are carefully decorated, feature flexible seating, and appealing books spill onto surfaces covered in fabric, personal checks written for those luxuries.
It’s not that they’re entitled.
My son wears diapers and may for quite a long while and every day he comes home clean and dry and never a complaint from his teachers.
It’s not that they don’t know better.
They do know and yet, they persevere, through the superfluous testing, the monitoring requirements, the paperwork, the reading levels and intense pressure, they bravely trudge along, with a smile, in spite of those obtuse circumstances.
It’s not that they can’t get a better job.
McDonalds pays managers better than teachers and for that matter, so do Roses and Pizza Hut. A lot less headache and when customers annoy you, you can kick them out.
It’s not that they don’t give a shit.
I’ve seen them get teary, I’ve heard the desperation in the voice of a woman worried about the child with no food at home and I’ve seen the shoes, pulled out of her bag, and slipped over the dirty stocking feet of a child who has never had anything new.
It’s not that teaching is just a job.
Next week, many will travel to march in Raleigh and even more will stay behind, pressured to show up and perform even though their hearts long for freedom.
It’s not that they’re selfish.
They care for the kids whose parents don’t know their names, the families who never attend an IEP meeting, the children who need more than a teacher and school could ever possibly give.
The trouble with our teachers? They care too much.
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