If you can read this, thank a teacher…today is National Teacher Day, and more than delivering a shiny apple for the desk, this day is about truly recognizing the tireless work of our educators. Media ferrets out the bad news, but the most egregious problems with our education system are with lack of funding and not making learning a priority, NOT the people involved. Teachers are criminally undervalued in this society–it is inexcusable that so many have to do so much while being compensated and valued so little. I know lots of teachers, and every one of them spends their own money to enrich their classrooms since districts no longer pay for the most basic needs of creating a learning environment. Want an alphabet chart? Buy it yourself–the school won’t do that. Math teaching tools? Art supplies? A calendar for birthdays? A globe or world map? That funky, wavy, corrugated border stuff we always had around the edges of bulletin boards? Nope–not provided–you want it for your kids, you bring it in yourself.
It is shameful.
Find a teacher network to support, find a classroom to give your energy and time to enrich the school experience for kids. Find a teacher you loved online, maybe on facebook, and reach out to tell them they really made a difference in your life. Support Pencils of Promise and Donors Choose. Find a way to make learning better–we have it within us, we just don’t put enough energy there.