I think it would be great if teachers got the same perks as pro football players. It would be so cool to arrive in the school hallway in the morning as everyone lined up to slap my hands as I run by and over the loudspeaker, “And on the special education team, Mrs. Wilsoooooon!” The crowd goes wild, clapping and cheering and my theme song starts to play, “We are the Champions!”
Not to put down pro sports but let’s put some kudos where they are truly deserved. Teachers work their asses off. And does their trainer run in in the midst of a tiring lesson and squirt coffee in their mouth. No! Does anyone give them a swat on the butt and say, “Get in there! You rock! Teach the crap out of that lesson!” I think not!
Have you ever heard anyone say, “I saw that creative and compassionate way you handled that challenging situation with a student. You are getting a $100, 000 bonus! Congratualations!” Wouldn’t that be nice?
Instead of adding more rules and regulations and high stakes testing to the classroom, it would be great if teachers were applauded for teaching. Yes, more time for teaching. Crazy I know! Smaller classes and incentives to encourage curiosity, empathy and imagination in our kids.
My son has started Jr. High School this year, which has provided some challenges for him. He has to learn to navigate a big school, get himself to different classes, keep track of homework assignments from multiple teachers, deal with a whole new set of peers and learn his locker combination (which he gave up on on the first day of school). I appreciate his teachers who are helping him navigate and teaching him skills that will build his confidence, independence and resourcefulness.
His language arts teacher recently assigned a project on creating a dystopian society and then presenting it to the class. My son Aidan and his group created a world that included colorful, magic ponies and rainbows. His teacher then reminded the class that the societies they created should be based on the real world. But he then added after seeing Aidan’s group’s project, “Well I didn’t say that it couldn’t be based on Aidan’s real world.” Aidan thought this was pretty funny and so did I.
There should definitely be a humor bonus as well!
And just to toot my own horn (because my grandma said if we don’t toot our own horn, who will?) I have a student with autism who for the first few months of the school year would tell me each day quite emphatically, “I miss my old teacher. My old teacher was much better than you. I really wish my old teacher was back.”
Every day I just listened to her and said things like, “ You really miss her. She was a great teacher.” One day I said, “I know, she was a really special teacher to you.”
She looked at me and said, “ You are a special teacher too.”
Bonus for patience!
So even if it is not realistic to expect tons of money or to have people ask us for our autographs, I would like to let the teachers out there know that you do have fellow teachers and thankful parents who would totally do a kick ass touchdown dance for you each and every day!