Sunday, October 5, 2014

World Teachers' Day, October 5th

It's that time of year again. Summer is over and school is well under way. The excitement, the anticipation, the sorrow and the joy of the first few weeks have dissipated. Some parents suffered from separation anxiety as their babies began school for the first time. Others, sighed with relief that the holidays were finally over and their youngsters could go back to school for another year of learning with their peers.

Today, October 5th has been dubbed World Teachers' Day. The much maligned profession, finally received some recognition in 1994

We've all heard the arguments about the large teacher salaries and the endless summer and winter holidays. We've also been inundated with counter claims from teachers describing their long hours, their preparation times, their oft thankless job, and their many added responsibilities. At no time has this career been more difficult than in the present. The layers of administration, the mounds of paperwork, the constant accountability, the student behaviours, health concerns, and learning challenges all create a stressful climate for these professionals. It makes it all but impossible for them to complete the job which they love...teaching children.

It takes a very special type of person and no matter what anyone says, most teachers are not in it for the fame, fortune or fabulous holidays. They're definitely not in it for the free retirement dinner, handshake and certificate at the end of their career.

Who among us remember the following names...Victoria Soto, Tammy Glasgow, Rhonda Crosswhite, Julie Simon, Sherri Bittle, Cindy Lowe? I'll bet very few of them remain familiar. Nonetheless, they are just a handful of teachers whose heroic actions are in the recesses of our memories. They are teachers who saved students from gunfire in Connecticut and tornadoes in Oklahoma. There are so many more everyday heroes who have made teaching more than just a career, but a full time part of their lives.

I googled "hero teachers" and found no end of information. The site BuzzFeed, has a list of eighteen exceptional teachers. Some of their accomplishments include those other than saving children from harm. They give freely of their time and funds to make children's lives better. The brief descriptions are worth reading. 

There are so many dedicated hard working educators out there. Today, we celebrate them all.

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