Education, Teachers — February 10, 2015

Amidst all the challenges facing education today, teachers want you to know that they still #LoveTeaching

by

Pushing back against some of the narratives about job dissatisfaction and teachers quitting the profession, educators around the country are sharing their love of teaching through a social media campaign known as #LoveTeaching and you’re invited to join in with them.

By Gary Abud, Jr.

Teaching is a noble profession and arguably the one that gives rise to all others. A great teacher can change the life of a student and great teaching has the most in-school impact on student learning. That doesn’t mean it’s always easy or fun to teach, but it means that teachers are dedicating their work to the success of others; moreover, our kids.

Over the past few years though, education has faced its share of challenges with which to contend. From implementing new standards that temporarily disappeared and adapting to fluctuating assessments and state tests to the emerging educator effectiveness (i.e., teacher evaluation) legislation, the external forces are certainly impacting classroom teachers. And it is taking its toll, not just in Michigan, but across the nation.

In a 2012 MetLife Survey, the lowest rate of job satisfaction among U.S. teachers was reported in nearly 25 years. Add to that the results from Gallup’s State of America’s Schools Report, which highlighted that not only is there job dissatisfaction, but there is actually a lack of engagement among U.S. teachers. Certainly none of these conditions are going to help education attract individuals to, or retain them in, the teaching profession.

All of the complicating factors and negative reports about education are contributing to a lack of trust in teachers and prompting copious reform movements. The implications can be seen in the stories of those who chose to leave teaching, or one-sided tales of teacher toil, propped up in social media. The reverberations of these narratives go on, but they definitely aren’t winning friends or influencing others in a very positive way.

Sure, teaching is not an easy job, but the challenges in teaching are not the whole story. In fact, there’s another narrative to be told, the upside of teaching, and teachers want to be the ones telling it. That’s why this Valentine’s Day there is a national campaign to share all the great things about teaching and it’s called #LoveTeaching. This campaign was started by teachers around the country who were tired of the negative narrative painting the wrong picture of them and their profession.

Teachers are posting on blogs and social media, sharing notes on bulletin boards at school, and some, including Michigan’s State Superintendent Mike Flanagan, are recording short video stories – a la the “Ice Bucket Challenge” – to express their love of teaching and invite others to do the same. But it’s not just teachers who are sharing, it could be anyone who’s life has been positively impacted by a great teacher.

Maybe it was a favorite teacher you had who helped you in school or the reason you got into teaching yourself. There are many reasons to love teaching and chances are good that you probably have plenty of your own to share. No matter why you #LoveTeaching, you are invited to join teachers everywhere and take part in this week-long blogging and social media campaign to share using the #LoveTeaching hashtag across all social channels.

You can check out the one-minute explainer video that lays out the campaign. There is also a shareable infographic, which outlines how to get involved, and a toolkit for educators to use to help them craft blog posts, share pictures/videos, or highlight their thoughts using the hashtag on any social media channel. Educators in #michED are even meeting up in four locations across the state of Michigan this Wednesday evening to converse about why they love the work that they do.

It’s time to take a step back and remind ourselves of all the great things about teaching amidst all of the challenges facing education. There is much to be thankful for, love and appreciate in teaching, and the world needs to hear that part of the story. No matter how you choose to get involved, let’s all pause for a moment to reboot and remind ourselves why we #LoveTeaching.

So what’s the reason why you #LoveTeaching? Share it in the comments below or on social media all this week.

  • judyms9

    That “in loco parentis” thing, that’s what it’s about for the most part. All the joys and frustrations of parenting are shared by teachers in the classrooms along with the responsibility and rewards of helping students build literacy, thinking skills, and productive citizenship practices and attitudes beyond those their parents instill.

    This is an uplifting piece at a time when teachers are being whiplashed from political pillar to political post. The joys and fun are there, and it will be good for meet-ups in which to share such things even though many teachers will lack the time to do so.

  • TeacherPatti

    I still like the overall idea of my job, but the reality is that a) much of the joy and passion has been sucked out, and b) I don’t get to do much actual teaching. Every staff meeting we have includes these terms: “seeing students” and “providing services to students”. What word is missing? Why, TEACHING, of course! In many cases, the special education teacher gets reduced to almost a tutor as you rush into a school, pull an (often unwilling) student out of class, and then work on stuff with them. Given the little time you have, the one-to-one setting (which is often problematic for reasons I won’t get into there), and the constant rush, it is difficult to find passion. Additionally, everything must be “fun”, so the use of iPad games is encouraged. If you try to actually teach, and don’t make it “fun”, then the student who sees you a few times a month will often be even more reluctant to work with you.

    That said, I have been able to get into a co-teaching situation this semester and THAT I love! I get to speak in front of a group and then work with small groups of students who are struggling with the subject area (math). I feel that this is a way better use of my time and skills then trying to pull a kid, work on a math worksheet, and then rush to the next school. I feel that co-teaching is one of the ways we can fix some of the problems in K-12, but the requires buy in from the teachers involved and, of course, money to pay the extra special ed teachers.

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