While waiting for my first new teacher observation of the day, outside a Stripes convenience store (having my breakfast) , I thought of you.
School buses were driving past- which always gives me an adrenalin rush- and I was overwhelmed with the gratitude I felt for the career I had, the new work I am doing, and the work you all three do.
You all three began your career paths in the classroom, often in settings some might consider risky, and you are stronger women because of it.
I then felt a little jolt of healthy irritation.
It is a profession (teaching) and an entity (public school) that is often misjudged.
So I decided to filter this feeling through a technique I used in a recent new teacher training:
‘This is what I have seen and heard’ in classrooms in the last few years. This is what I believe.
*In a senior English class , at a high school with a population of students who would meet all sorts of criteria for the designation ‘at risk’, the teacher was showing a film on attending Harvard.
*In an elementary classroom, two certified teachers worked with the students all day- half the day in English and half the day in Spanish. The students were learning both languages accurately.
*On an elementary campus, while walking down the hall, I overheard a teacher say to a kindergarten student, “It is always a good idea to begin by saying, ‘I am sorry’.
*In a middle school classroom, the teacher said- beaming from ear to ear- “I like what I am hearing!” Everyone was beaming.
And so dear daughters, because I am on a roll, I want to clear up a couple of other points-which I know you know. Others might not though.
Teachers in the state of Texas are contracted to work for 187 days. Their yearly salary, determined by the state and the local district, is paid out over 12 months.
The money they are paid in the summer is for work they have already completed.
And finally, as many people enter the profession via an alternative certification program, just know they have bachelors’ and even masters’ degrees, and this first year of teaching is under a probationary certificate, involves research-based coursework, and requires two exams, the equivalent of state boards.
It also costs over $3000.
It is ALL so much harder than it looks.
So there. You know how I am. Just wanted you to know I was thinking of you.