Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Dilemma of the Teacher

My last blog concerned the internal conflict that pulls at the very soul of the Healthcare worker.
Torn between the internal needs to both care for others and do it in a loving, professional, and thorough manner; and the demands of an industry that seems to be shifting from a philosophy that it is in the business of healthcare into one that is a business that just so happens to be in healthcare.
Many people identified with my thoughts, and not surprisingly, one of the largest group was teachers.
A Nurse is an RN, LPN, etc, but a nurse, with a small n, is anyone in any of the caring professions, healthcare, education, public service, etc., people who have a calling, not a job.
Teachers definitely fit this description.  Teaching the youth of today has to be something that only someone with a calling can do. Like healthcare, they increasingly have to do more with less, and sometimes, they have to do "what they can" not what their hearts tell them they want to do.  This tears a person's soul. Yet, to walk away is almost unthinkable.
I also have a friend who works in the state court system, as a social worker in the public defender's office.  Her calling is to try to help piece together lives of young people who have gone down a dark road, usually with the help of a substance abuse issue. 
Day after day she does this, often in failing attempt, but when successful, she literally saves lives.
My Union, AFT, calls itself a "Union of Professionals".  We include education, healthcare, and public service. My social worker friend is AFT, many teacher friends are AFT.
We ARE a union of professionals, but we are also a union of care givers, who provide that care in many settings, hospitals, schools, homes, court houses, and wherever we can make a difference.
AFT does not stand alone in this, we stand with many sister unions and non union brothers and sisters in the "caring professions," who do not have jobs but have callings, and increasingly we are asked to do more with less, and it tears at our souls.

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