We are not baby-sitters. Summers are not completely off. Anyone cannot be a teacher. It does require a college degree. Our job is not easy. It is not true “If you cannot do-then teach.”
I have heard this and more and it is just.plain.wrong. But finally, our voices are being heard as there is a MASSIVE teacher shortage across the entire USA.
For the first time in my career districts are negotiating and offering incentives for teachers. What we do is challenging and most do not do it for money, but so good for others to see our value and importance then recognize it with more decent wages. Teachers are priceless and I hope this brings the reform and change in mindset we deserve. This season will be hard, but with our voices we can bring about some change!
Teachers-do not let this time in history pass us by! God is doing something in this hardship and making a way. He has heard our prayers. We are some of the most graceful, patient, flexible, persevering people on the planet (this is why we make great teachers), but those traits have often get us run over with long, unpaid hours, little to no yearly raises, increased health insurance expenses (since we have the time to go to the doctor), ridiculous political mandates that have no benefit for the kids just brings about more paperwork. Sometimes I think we do not even take ourselves seriously in an effort to be humble. But when schools were shut down, we stepped up with innovation and new ideas-quickly. This is our time to be heard,show our value, model our professionalism and gifts/talents. We do this with our actions and being willing to have the hard conversations in love for the kids.
The pandemic knocked us down, but we got back up and are now stronger and for the first time seen. The world is watching! This is our time and we are ready!
Last year leading into 2020 I posted that the good Lord put a word of the year on my heart that I hated. This word confused me, angered me and I was embarrassed to share it.
The word was vulnerable.
I remember sharing it with others and saying…I do not get it, but this is the word. Flash forward to the end of 2020 and this word has been all over the place! Definitely a Covid 19 word. God prepared the way for my heart with this word.
I grew vulnerable with my students and how I learn to love them. Vulnerable in my marriage with sharing my concerns. Vulnerable with my child that he will not always be perfect and that is okay. Vulnerable with hugs and touch and phone calls that I normally do not like. It also led me to start the foster care process to love the vulnerable that need to know they are loved.
This word led me to the writing and documentary of Brene Brown and her insight and wisdom. This word changed me. This word grew me. God used it in big ways and continues to challenge me with the truth.
Vulnerable started out as an insult but has become a sign of God’s sovereignty.
My campus was on Spring Break last week, so online learning started for us this week. Last week, I struggled to wrap my brain around what it looks like and this week I have been busy executing the plan. Crandall ISD has stepped up to give us a united vision of consistency and leadership. Today the first day of school at home begins!
It started with lots of online conference meetings which sound way more fun than they are. A great way to bridge the distance another tech tool that I can now use for the future.
Later came two days of connecting to the families, creating assignments for the Google Classrooms, creating videos to teach parents and forgetful students how to access those classrooms and lots of extra things to put the plan in place. I have a 7 year old that has really had to fill his time (un) wisely while I work 9+ hour days sorting it all out. Again, thankful the vision was already in place so I could execute my part.
Just when I thought I had had enough the Flipgrids started rolling in with their sweet faces and voices and then my first video call to try out the class. Breathe. This is worth it. The kids need the interactions as much as I do and it reminds me why I teach. Their faces remind me why I went back to the classroom after leaving it for leadership and more money. Their smiles are my why and their need for something normal is my motivation. For them the work is worth it.
God is doing something big in all this that I know will be missed when it is all over. Families are reconnecting, educators are innovating, kids are really learning for life not a test, and we are appreciating the roles we all serve and sometimes take for granted. God is moving in this stop and slow down moment in history. I believe in his promises!