Tonight, I am watching the TV show Shark Tank. As I observe all of these people putting it ALL on the line – money, heart, soul – on products that may or may not be successful. At the tender age of 40+, I still don’t know what my Shark Tank moment is. Do you? I wonder, if given more time, and energy, what am I willing to dream about. I think a lot of time, in the middle of the daily march of time and responsibilities, we lose the power to dream. As I sit here, my to do list grows, my bills climb, and somehow I stop to write and wonder what the possibilities are. I love my life, with an amazing career and work that can only be verbalized as a calling. I teach kids. I’ve taught hundreds of them with more adventure and fulfillment than you could ever imagine. I know they love and appreciate me, but with the state of education, as parents and news agencies talk about disrespect of teachers, thinking that they are adding an awareness, they are actually perpetuating a sense of disrespect.
Think about it – 20 years ago, people thought – “Wow, you are choosing to be a saint. You will make no money, and work thankless hours, bless you.”
Now, with social media and the continuation of this discussion, it has become a very public and nasty debate. The facts are the same. You cannot raise a family, without a dual income as a teacher in many states. Many teachers pay for materials themselves, and work some of the longest and worst paid hours of any “profession.” Now it is all over the social network, and many people support the struggle. The pain is when people get on this no consequence media and say things about teacher and their choices. (They could be lawyers).
When did it become less noble and more stupid to be the change agents that we are. I was recently personally taken aback when teachers were on the cover of Time magazine, highlighting that they often take second jobs, third jobs, to be able to survive in the area of their “calling,” I sat in silent surprise as there were as many people posting to insult teachers as support them. They called teachers lazy, uneducated (havenon- proficient kids, so they must be). They are clearly uninformed in making their career choices. Then they called us whiners – whining because our retirement is being taken away, our futures are questionable with vouchers, accountability, and lower than cost of living raises of other professions, and ultimately a lack of respect.
I wonder if I went on Shark Tank and told them my dream, teaching without the disrespect of testing, more ability to learn myself, and the best tech and support for THEIR growing workforce, I wonder if I would have a “deal,” I like to think I would.