Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dear Daughters, Teaching, and an Editorial


Dear Daughters,

        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.

                                                                               Love, Mom






Theresa said...

Sweet thoughts and I know your daughters are so thankful you share them!

Have a blessed day my friend! HUGS!

Tammy @BeatriceBanks said...

Well stated! As a stay at home mom, former teacher, I'm happy to know I'm not the only one who gets an adrenalin rush from school buses. (Also the smell of fresh crayons!) I've been thinking of going back to teaching but my hubby is in med school and we are moving around a lot. Sad to say, he can make more working part time than I can make working full time. My hat's off to teachers everywhere and to you for sharing great info.

NanaDiana said...

Lara- Well said, my dear! I think most teachers are grossly underpaid considering they spend more time with the kids than their parents do. I have nothing but the utmost respect for teachers-for all they do and the heart they give to our children! Hear-Hear! Diana

Unknown said...

G'day Laura ~ How poignant a write ... I feel for the teachers of today, & all they have to tolerate/put up with just to get our children educated. Bravo, Laura & THANK YOU!

Have a great day ~
TTFN ~ Hugs, Marydon

Karen said...

I'm certainly not a teacher but I tip my hat (and hug) each and every teacher my sons ever had. They tried and did their best and were rarely thanked. My three sons have great jobs and bright futures.
So, thank you, Laura.
Everyone out there is blogland needs to know that Laura was one of the very best teachers in our school and only the most fortunate students had her.
Ladybug Creek

Anonymous said...

YES, YES, and YES! Thank you for reminding all of us of the importance of believing any of us can accomplish and do great things, apologies are not a sign of weakness, and praise goes a long way in making a child feel good about themselves.

My daughter taught (now a SAHM)in California - half day in English and half day in Spanish. It was an awesome classroom experience for all. I was so proud to visit, help in her class and hear the easy transition between languages. The kids never skipped a beat because they were all little sponges and learned quickly.

D.B. said...

Don't get me started on what teachers get paid versus what pro athletes make! A wonderful teacher is PRICELESS! Thank you for giving yourself to others in this way and passing along the wisdom you acquired.

Sarah said...

Laura, I aplaud your comments. As a retired teacher, I know of what you speak. Teachers are extremely undervalued by our society. Thanks for spotlighting just a few of the positive things you recently saw. ~ sarah

Donna @ The House on the Corner said...

For my eldest daughter - of whom I am soo proud - and is in her 4th year of teaching elementary school at a Title 1 school - Thank you.

Deb said...

great post Laura...I love your letters to your daughters...

Pondside said...

I wish the press would publish something like this - it would go a long way to helping people understand the contribution that teachers make every day.

Linda Jo said...

Oh wow...great post. I'm sending my daughter to read your blog. She teaches 3rd grade and recently got her Masters in Education Administration. This is her 8th year teaching.


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