As a teacher, there are certain days of the year when relief surrounds us. That day is today. I just finished (although it is 11:44 p.m.) grading all of my midterm exams. All 122 of them. Here is the kicker – I created the exams. I could have made it really easy on myself. I could have given the students the same test from last year. Yet that is not my MO. I made brand new exams AND put time-consuming (to grade) essays on them. Why would I do that? Isn’t that a crazy person? Well, it is because I didn’t want to scrimp on their learning.
Teachers get a bad rap. We actually do go the extra mile. We don’t finish all of our work in our 7 a.m. to 2:35 p.m. day. We take things home. We create things at home. We even worry about our students’ well being at home. Our job doesn’t end in the summer either. We take classes. We read educational books. We create more lessons and try to improve upon the year before. We are constantly assessing and reflecting on our own work. We consistently re-invent the wheel for the betterment of students.
I read an excellent article in 2002 and, if I could find it, I would proudly cite it and boldly link to it. Here is what the article simply stated: Teachers are many things to their students. They are cops, counselors, parents, referees and coaches. They are a shoulder to cry on and a deliverer of tough love. They are there for their students sometimes more than the real parents are. They are teachers and they are important.
That is why I do what I do. That is my mantra. The tests are graded. I am relieved. Now onto creating a couple of cool lessons for The Scarlet Letter. 🙂