A message to teachers who think this is a crappy time to teach

He went over. Way over! 7231 text messages over his 1000 text message limit. The cell phone company says unlimited is 1000 messages. We are now on the super unlimited plan that caps out at 5,000 messages. That still isn't enough so our parental controls kick in at 4500 messages to shut down everyone but his father and mother from sending or receiving messages to his phone.

A few people found out.

No lecture was so scathing as a man I know who has several young pre-teenagers. “my child will never do that…” and on he droned imparting his untested and unearned wisdom.

Parenting is a joy and delight much of the times but if have two teens has taught me anything – when they turn 13 take everything you think you know about parenting and throw it out the window. You are in a foreign land.

Marriage is the same way. My husband always says that married men should never take marital advice from a bachelor. It is unearned and untested.

Do you know where I am going here?

I got quite ticked off when a popular blogger and speaker said on his blog recently that it is a crappy time to be a teacher. It ticked me off.

First of all, I and the teachers I know who love the kids. We love teaching. Yes, the politicians, lawyers, and all those who don't have a clue about how to teach are calling way too many of the shots.

In California, they have lawyers in a basement interrogating librarians to determine if they are worthy to keep on the payroll for goodness sakes! Great injustices are being done to teachers in many places and all sides,

Everyone is slashing budgets and positions. It is unsettling.

But to say it is crappy? Sure, rotten things are happening but I am going to tell you something…

As one who worked in the business world (and did quite well) I abhor some of what I said to my own mom and sister about teaching.

I had no idea that teaching would become my greatest joy, passion, and stressor that my life has ever known. More painful at times than when I had my 10 pound baby girl.

And yet, it is always a joyful time to be teaching.

Here is the thing. The upheaval in education has only begun. The charter school thing is just the beginning. Vouchers, that may come and go, but online learning. Hybrid learning. Personalized learning. These are things that will rock our world.

What happened in the music business in the last 10-15 years is happening in education now.

We have to be savvy, smart, and good at what we do.

We have to learn how to teach online, offline and standing on a line.

We've got to be good. We have to do more with less.

No, it is not ok some of the things that are happening.

But you know what – Life isn't fair. Stinky things happen.

The greatest men and women of history rose above the quells and quakes of upheaval into the minds and hearts of mankind. Churchill. Lincoln. Mother Theresa.

Without gutters and poor, Mother theresa's sacrifice would have no contrast. No context.

We have to learn what we can control. We cannot control the times in which we live. We can control the way in which we live our times.

This is our time in the classroom. If you are lucky enough to have a classroom next year, relish and celebrate it. If you are facing bleak prospects, realize that this can be the opportunity you have always wanted to take a risk. The riskiest thing you can do is to do nothing.

And for those of you who think teaching is crappy. We love you. We respect you as human beings and know that you are made for something good in this world. Teaching is just not it.

Now is the time for you to get out of the profession and make room for those who love the children and will never be happy doing anything but teaching.

For us, the headache is worth it. We will teach until some orderly pulls the blanket over our veined, wrinkled hands up over our smiling mouths and over the wrinkled eyelids with permanent smile and frown lines both embedded there. We will die happy knowing we have done mankind a service and rendered the greatest of callings besides that of parenting.

Teachers are noble. We must act like it.

And when those who aren't in the classroom give us unearned untested advice, we know we can smile and move on. The classroom is a place like no other.

– Posted using BlogPress from Vicki's iPad

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere
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