I don't have any children, but I have a deep appreciation for this quote and for teachers. Maybe it's BECAUSE I don't have kids that I can stand on the outside and look in.
I see teachers like my friend Kevin <3 as unselfish people, motivated by the love of children and learning, and it's NOT a job I would ever want.
Actually...There was a time I wanted to be a teacher, specifically English or Language Arts. I thought sure, the money wouldn't be that great, but I'd spend my days teaching others about the beauty of reading and writing. I could teach them the importance of an idiolect and explain what it means to 'coin' a word. Plus I'd get my weekends and summers off. I could hand out cute little stickers for good work and change lives. That sounded pretty cool to me.
Then as I got older, I realized I didn't like children much. AND that I wasn't selfless enough. (I'm incredibly self-absorbed and was born without patience. I'm like Lumpy Space Princess.)
I found out that teachers make next to nothing these days, especially in comparison to the ACTUAL hours they put in, and that they spend their own cash to dole out those cute little rewards, after they've spent their evenings correcting countless papers.
It occurred to me...Who in their right mind goes to university for four years to make a piddly wage that requires them to be a glorified babysitter five days a week? Keeping an eye on 30 kids at a time? They're also charged with educating these children on top of that. That's a heavy responsibility.
What if every teacher threw down their sharpies and pens and said "Screw this! I want to do something else for a living. I can make better money selling Mary Kay." Where would we be? Oh yeah...Home school. Not for the faint of heart, light of brain or the impatient.
I know some people who home school their kids, like my friend Natasja, and they're pretty good at it, but I don't think that's an option for everyone. Not everyone has the kindness, patience and perseverance Nat has.
Put it this way...Do you really want to spend all day with your kids? Every day? Trying to drum lessons they may not feel like learning into their inattentive minds? Yes? For how long?
I'm saying pay teachers more, and cut them a little slack. It's a thankless job, but someone in the village has to do it. Better them than you and me. We're not qualified.
Thank you , teachers. I will always appreciate the work you do.