Monday, August 18, 2014

Thank you teachers, have a good year

One of the classes I was required to take in nursing school was sociology.  I knew I would hate it, but it was a requirement.  The time could have been better spent in science or nursing practice, of this I was sure.
The professor was great.  He explained how we view the world though glasses that are influenced by our upbringing, our culture, our economic class.  I had never thought about this.
We had to write a short paper.  Mine was an introspective look titled "Why I believe what I do."
Looking back, I realize it was my first blog and the beginning or an introspective journey to better understand myself and by that, understand others.
A class I was sure I should hate was a life changer because of this teacher.

As we prepare to begin another school year, I wanted to take a moment and thank teachers for the amazing service that give us.
They change our lives.
They make us better.

Our teachers are often criticized and it is wrong, wrong, wrong.
Like nurses and other health care workers; teachers, paraprofessionals and school support staff dedicate their lives to a greater good. For that, they have to deal with school shootings and other violence, abuse and criticism.
Educators should be held to high standards, moral and professional.
On this, there is no debate.
On this, they agree completely.

However, this crusade to strip them of due process is wrong and dangerous, and this pressure to teach to the test is harmful to our children.
If teachers are not up to standards they should be given the chance to improve and if they cannot, they should move on.
If they have done wrong, they should be disciplined, but they should have a fair chance to defend themselves.
Students should have the opportunity to advance academically to the highest level each and every individual is capable, but we should not produce a generation of test takers who cannot critically think.

Teachers agree with all this.

I am a Registered Nurse leader in a union that represents, teachers, professors, paras, and school support staff, along with healthcare and public service.
I am no expert in all their issues. I see the world though my glasses.  But I know how my life has been changed by my teachers, I know how important my bedside teaching is to my patients, and I know how standardized testing and evaluations sometimes seem good at first, but not so good in practice.

In an amazing speech at our National convention this year, Reverend William Barber said that if we do not invest at the beginning of life, we will have to invest later in life.
So true.

Lately I have been investing more time in learning about issues that effect the rest of my union, teachers paras, school support, and public servants.
It has only increased my admiration of them.

I wish you all a great school year, thank you for all you do.

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