Friday, July 29, 2016

Teachers, Share Your Profession!

I've been working in my home office for the last two weeks preparing for my new assignment in second grade this coming school year. In between, I've taken breaks to check out social media. This week several topics have hit my nerves and it's come down to one thing...

Teachers, share your profession!

What I mean by this is that we not only need to educate the students that come to our classrooms and spend 9 months with us, but we need to educate the public about what it means to be an educator. 

We need to advocate for ourselves, inform ourselves and educate non-educators about our profession.

I have felt like a lone duck on many threads about education this week as I attempt to share the issues and realities of educators. I can't do it alone and neither can you, but together, we can make a difference in our communities and change the stereotypes and misunderstandings that exist about what it means to be an educator.

Here's how you can make a difference:

We currently have a taxation issue in our district area property taxes and a state wide policy change about licensing people to be educators without education training. 

 Add positive and informed thoughts to social media threads about education issues that affect you, whether in your own local community or nationally.

For goodness sake, I still talk to people who think they are getting a free private education for their children by sending them to a public state funded charter school instead of their neighborhood school. 

Parents and community members don't realize that your classroom library wasn't funded by taxpayers, it came out of your pocket. A gentleman telling me I didn't have to spend money on my classroom was surprised to find out his children wouldn't have a classroom library, center activities, birthday gifts from me, class parties and so on without the money I spend from my income. 

Complaining to your colleagues about the state of education doesn't make change. Write letters to your local and state school boards, participate in social media conversations, set neighborhood gossip straight.  Be a voice for your profession. 

The public is basically our employer and from my perspective, its important for them to be informed about the job they have as employers. Being a teacher means being a public figure. In 2014, there was estimated to be 3.5 million public and private k-12 educators with a total population of 319 million people in the United States, that means K-12 educators make up about 1% of the population.*  That's a lot of people who need to know about what it means to be an educator.  Instead of hiding in our classrooms, we need to share our profession and help the rest of the world.

What are your ideas about how we can stand together to help our communities better understand education so they can be better informed voters, policy makers and education supporters?

*Statements based on data from:


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