Saturday, February 17, 2007

Why Teach?

One of my most memorable teachers, Mr. Tieche, taught my peers and me the nuances of diction and structure way back in my 12th grade years of AP English. I happened upon his blog through the conjury known as Google, and wanted to link to an article he wrote a while back, entitled "Why Teach?":

Here’s my point. The seeds we plant might not be visible now. And it might take years for those suckers to pop through the soil. And it might not happen for every kid. But we have the power of life and death in our words, and in our classrooms. We have a bunch of kids captive for an hour of their lives every day, which – sadly- in some cases, is more time than they have with their real mom or dad. A lot can happen in an hour.

My mom –who was a kindergarten teacher for 32 years – told me something once that I don’t know is true or not, but it should be. She told me that in the 50s, in the USSR, some of the highest paid professionals were professors and teachers because the Russian government knew that the future of the country rested in the hands of teachers. She said that is why she taught.

I think, in part, it’s why all of us have chosen to do this. So thanks. Thanks for being a teacher. Thanks for being a history maker. Thanks for putting in the hours and caring and working and dealing with teenagers. And I guarantee, you might not be around to hear it, but some day, your students will thank you, too.

It's a warm feeling that I get, realizing that a favorite teacher of mine chose to teach for nearly the same reasons as why I savor hall staff life. I'm really going to enjoy this teaching gig.

Our teachers deserve some recognition. They take on a difficult job and get little appreciation for it, from their students and from our society (this ain't 1950 in the USSR). If you can think back to any past teachers that have made an indelible impression on you, why not let them know?

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