When did we become the enemy?
Ever since I was in high school, I knew I wanted to be a history teacher. I would love to say that it was because I had a passion for it and wanted to reach kids. That’s a lie. I wanted to be a teacher because it seemed like an easy job where you made lots of money and had summers off. I ended up being wrong on all three assumptions!
History was the only class that interested me in high school. So, I figured, why not give it a shot? I went to college, got my degree, and accepted the first full time offer I got. I would be a history teacher in Baltimore County, Maryland. It wasn’t the easiest job, especially, for a first-year teacher. But, I met some of the best people I know. They became some of my best friends, and I wish I would be able to see them more today. Almost all of us were first-year teachers so I think that’s one of the main reason we became so close.
After Baltimore, I moved back home to Pittsburgh where I started the job that I am still at today. Let me just say this, I love teaching. There is nothing else I can see myself doing. Interacting with students, coaching sports, making new friends and connections, I love it. But recently I have noticed something. Teaching has been getting a bad rap from people. I hear people all the time say that teachers are paid too much. Trust me we aren’t. I’m not complaining about that. I knew going in that being a teacher, I would never be rich. And that’s ok. I also hear the complaint that we have summers off. Ok, but a lot of that time is being spent going to meetings, planning, for next school year, and other things related to school. Also, I’m willing to bet that teachers would have no problem working 12 months a year if they were compensated for it. I think most people that complain about teachers at the end of the day don’t like the fact that we are paid with tax dollars. I understand that. I hate paying taxes too. But, taxes are necessary for a thriving country. Why would we not want our youth to be properly educated? When our children are educated, the country benefits. It is a proven fact.
I just want people to know that we are not the enemy. Are there bad teachers out there? Sure. But there are bad people in every profession. The majority of teachers are there because they have a passion. A passion to educate. A passion to inspire. A passion to be a role model to today’s youth. My biggest role model in my life was my 10th grade English teacher. Was back then and still is today. I can only hope that just one of my students can look back in 20 years and thank me for getting them where they are today.