A Modern Tragedy

It is a tragedy of modern times that we do not value teachers enough. Take a look at their pay. It’s pitiful. They are the front line in educating the citizens of tomorrow….the ones who’ll take care of me when I’m old and feeble. Yet as a society, in general, we seem to put such little value on teachers, and pay them poor salaries. Truly they do it out of love, and that’s an admirable quality. I have two sisters who are teachers. One of them wrote the following in an email message recently:

Yesterday afternoon, I was busy correcting personal narratives. I’m checking for things like beginnings that grab the reader’s interest, strong use of details, dialogue, and other criteria. I have a student whose mother was killed in a car accident 17 months ago. He wrote about finding out his mom was dead. His narrative did not met many of the requirements, but how do you grade something so sad and so heartfelt? It made me realize how hard Christmas must be for him. He lives with his grandparents, but his brother lives with his dad. They won’t see each other this Christmas, and I realize just how good I’ve got it. At Christmas, we often get bogged down in a mountain of tasks, but need to remember that we are blessed to be able to complete those tasks, one at a time. And if they don’t all get done…so what? We have the gift of love. We have the gift of family. Nothing else matters. Oh, and the student, with a bit of tweaking on my part, ended up with an “A”.

My sister, as a teacher, has the ability to touch this child, to give them hope, to give them a shoulder to cry on, to lend a kind word, to touch their heart. Why do we not value teachers more, and pay them more. The good ones (and both of my sisters count among those) are not paid nearly enough for what they do. We pay the administrators and the politicians much better, yet they don’t make the difference in one life that an individual teacher can.

Perhaps, if you can read this, you have a teacher to thank. I suggest you do so today, now.

Merry Christmas.

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