How do you view your profession? What does being a teacher mean to you?
In the post-Covid era, education and teachers have been in the spotlight, receiving great amounts of attention. Much of the media exposure has been surrounded by negativity. Many teachers are feeling burnt out, not supported, underappreciated, and most are under paid. Covid showed the country how difficult the teaching profession is, yet there are still societal perspectives of teaching not being valued, not a “real” profession, or just a placeholder role. What is contributing to this perspective? Consistent low pay, an absence of professionalism, not being treated like an adult, etc… How much of the world around has shaped your perspective of teaching?
For a moment, forget that perspective and the words you have heard from others. Think just on your experiences and feelings about teaching…Changing societies views and even your own negative perspectives are crucial for the survival of our profession. Change starts with you.
Not everyone can do this job. It takes a special kind of person to be an educator. Heart, a passion for helping others, a love for the content you teach, the ability to effectively manage multiple tasks, innovative and creative mindsets, resiliency…we can go on and on. What other profession requires all this capacity and capability? Understand that you have a unique skillset that many others do not possess. Your skillset involves a deep understanding of your content area and the ability to break down complexities to impart knowledge in a way that others will comprehend. Not to mention the ability to lead people and manage tasks effectively and efficiently.
So why are we letting the outside world define who we are as teachers? Change the narrative and project your new perspective. You have a unique skillset and are a valuable asset at your school. Today, rebrand your teaching and mindset. Start the positive change that teaching needs. This is a good profession and the foundation for all other professions. We need individuals to shed new light on our role. So be proud of who you are and what you do. Tell somebody about it. Write a blog, host a podcast, talk with the media, engage your colleagues, administration, or PLC. Whatever platform, let them know what you do every day for your community and preach what it really means to be a teacher!