Teachers are heroes. Teachers have the toughest job in America. Teachers have the most important job in America. Teachers are underpaid. They only work 10 months out of the year. The benefits are great. The retirement is good. Blogsurfer.us.
All of that should have sounded familiar whether you are in the education business, or just a product of it. As a teacher, I have something to say. The first thing is to acknowledge that my job is important, and it is scary important at times. Teachers have the opportunity to inspire and help children become what it is they should become. Teachers can also destroy and stamp out dreams. Heavy stuff.
I saw Janet Jackson on Oprah a few years ago, how many years is hard to say. I do know she was skinny Janet and very famous. Maybe it was in the nineties when she made that cool video with the big beach ball and very muscular man. Janet complained to Oprah that a high school math teacher made her get up from her seat, walk to the chalkboard to work a problem (which she got wrong) and said that experience HAUNTS her and she is shy and fearful in front of people because of that mean math teacher. I remember thinking this was one time when Oprah could have pulled her attitude out and say, “Now come on Janet, you are an entertainer who performs to sold-out stadiums across the world and maybe you are naturally shy, or your crazy dad beat you into your shyness, whatever, Janet, give me a break, you just didn’t study the night before. The teacher caught you not knowing something- get over it. I know, show your breast at the Superbowl in the future to help you with that phobia of being in front of people.”
I love pretending to be Oprah- can you tell?
The truth is this (get ready for some inside teacher-scoop) teachers are people. And we cannot parent our class population, we can teach it. We want our students to show respect. And another thing, please quit blaming teachers for wanting our students to be prepared for our classes. There are good teachers. There are crummy teachers. I want to talk for for the good teachers, because I believe I am one. We care, we want the best for our students and above all we want them to learn and enjoy the process of learning. There I said it-
I went to an NFL game today and I am always amazed with the amount of money athletes make. Good for them. The seats in the stadium were full and people all around me were buying over-priced hot dogs, pretzels and beer. Myriad fans donned jerseys of their favorite players, or the ones they could buy at Academy. It was fun. There was a lot of money exchanged for this game. I looked around at all the people and imagined them as neighborhoods that are taxed for me, and my school district. The federal dollars that are sent to us, and of course in Texas we get money from the lottery (insert laugh track here. Education gets nothing from the lottery, but I understand if gambling is legalized schools will benefit! Insert more of the laugh track here.)
Teachers are heroes! Oprah says it. The PTA says it. The President has said it; I think. Some people believe it. But, next to an NFL, or NBA player; we are just poor people in the cheap seats. I don’t get paid a lot, that is for sure, seeing I can destroy or inspire a kid to possibly grow up and out-do Ghandi…what if that kid was on Oprah. I bet I would at least get a car. Teachers should have agents like pro- athletes. We should have sponsors who get us endorsements for all kinds of stuff. It can be products for stress, wrinkles, heart and bowel problems. Jamie Curtiss can have a few of us on her yougurt-sharing couch. We could sell wine (Okay, any alcohol) clothing, shoes, fitness clubs. The list is endless, because if we are heroes, and we are just regular people living our lives..use us in the media. Show us the money!
Posters in the classroom can be from sponsors. Computers, staples, books!! I have a dream where teachers and rich people live together and sit side by side in good restaurants, who are their sponsors, and live a good life. Teachers should have trading cards with our pictures on the front and stats on the back. I have had many students visit me who are doing very well. One young lady is now in Hollywood and thanked me for inspiring her to study the 1960’s. She said it has helped make her who she is…go figure, but she would be one of my stats! Also, we could have our testing stats, where we have worked on the backs. Students would collect our cards, want to be like us and take their pictures with us and, oh, now wait, that my friends is already happening. Not the cards, the last part where they take our pictures. At the end of every year when saying goodbye, it is always with joy and love and lots of snapshots.
In some school districts, school buses have advertisements in and on them to help the cost of transportation. There has been debate whether or not this is a good thing. I mean, do we want our kids around ads even on the bus? I say, really? Really? There is debate on this? Sell the ads to get the kids to school. Ads are everywhere- take a good look again at any pro-athlete. If it is okay for them, why not the schools? And especially, why not for the teachers? Right now the retirement system is taking out close to 300 dollars a month from my check. Then, since my district had opted out of contributing to social security, I got a 40 something b 3. that is suppose to offset that little crisis. Then taxes and health care. Every year when I go to sign-up for benefits I ask them where would they like me to go and bend over. The insurance representatives get mad, but my fellow teachers laugh. I know it is a cheap laugh; whatever.
In the end, I end up with enough money to barely make it to the end of every month. Not a happy ending really, is it?
This sponsor idea is a good one. I wouldn’t mind driving a car with a advertisment for my favorite book store, wear clothes with as many patches as Ricky Bobby, and a classroom full of posters with inspiring words sponsored by Sara Lee. This idea would work for firemen, soldiers, and any policeman who has not given me a ticket. (I hold grudges)
I already have an idea for my perfume line; Commended; the Smell of Sucess, Ode to English. Brilliant. Good Work.
Scoot over Liz Taylor, here I come!