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Friday, January 4, 2013

Teach Anyway

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Teachers,

You will be told that your holidays are too long; teach anyway.

You will be told that you must raise standards even though you always aim to get the best out of your kids; teach anyway.

You will not be given tax-breaks, bonuses, expensed-cars or luxury Christmas gifts; teach anyway.

You will be told to take a pay cut because the government can't afford to pay your salaries; teach anyway.

You will be told to test your students more and those test results will be used against you; teach anyway.

You will be told to do more with less; teach anyway.

You will have to raise funds to finance the education of your students by doing charity runs, sponsored this-and-sponsored that and begging companies to help out; teach anyway.

The media will denigrate all that you do; teach anyway.

You will be told to teach for every little contemporary ailment of society as if it is a panacea for every psychological, social, economic and environmental problem; teach anyway.

And when that fails, you will be blamed for the problems in the first place; teach anyway.

You will be told by people who have never spent a day in a classroom since leaving school how to do your job; teach anyway.

Politicians will use you and the achievements you make with your students to paper over their own failings; teach anyway.

Those same politicians will say you are not working hard enough; teach anyway.

And the same politicians will drive a wedge between you and the parents whose children you care for as if they were your own; teach anyway.

You will be held up as trouble-makers for calling for a better world and teaching children about it; teach anyway.

You will be told to get in line with the latest fad 'educational theory', fad-technology or just plain fad; teach anyway.

You will be told you are failing; teach anyway.

When you became a teacher you may have felt you were choosing a career; but it was also choosing you. When you became a teacher it may have been because you wanted to change the world. And maybe after a few years, cynicism replaced your earlier idealism. This is not because when you became a teacher you found you couldn't change the world; it was because you didn't know what the world was when you wanted to change it. You can not change the world, but you can change the world for your students. Be assured that every day you spend in the classroom, sometimes teaching in difficult circumstances, sometimes with difficult students, parents, administrators, trustees -  every day you stick it out and give your best, you lead by example. All the little changes you make to your students' lives add up to one BIG change.  You never know that your next interaction could be the defining moment in another person's life. A student's life. Teach anyway.

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15 comments:

  1. I don't often comment on blog article (even though I should) but this is a super piece of writing - very poetic too! Well done Peter for saying it as it is and summing it up so eloquently.

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  2. New mantra! Thanks for saying what everyone else feels about practising their teaching craft in the midst of volatile change and political turmoil.

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    1. I like that word 'craft'...it says we take time to think about what we do and while we are doing it. Thanks Sam

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  3. Great inspiration for the new year!
    Teach anyway.

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    1. Thanks Pádraig...got to keep going for the kids.

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  4. Oh please, please send this to as many newspapers as possible!! I have experienced much of this am still teaching anyway!!! This is going on my wall at home to remind me that I can do my job regardless... Absolutely brilliant :)

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    1. Thank you. Please feel free to pass it on.

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  5. Great piece, well done Peter. It says it all.

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  6. Fantastic post! You've nailed it on the head.

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    1. Thanks. Nice blog over there at http://3arn0wl.wordpress.com . Quite liked your post on scrapping the practical. Every Minister/Secretary for Education should spend one day a week in schools teaching - call it on-the-job training!

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  7. I like this: 'You can not change the world, but you can change the world for your students.' Thanks Peter.

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