I walked by a car this morning that had one of those magnetic ribbons on it. It looked old and sun-bleached, and so whatever color it had been was faded to the point of non-recognition. The slogan was still there, though: “Find the Cure.” So many afflictions in our world to think about. It didn’t so much matter to me what the color was originally, but it remained a message I could really take to heart with regards to my our work.
What is the “cure” for an education system that seems to be roiled in so many issues that need tending to? Is there A cure? Lack of resources, the gap between “school” and “student lifestyle,” lack of time for collaboration, debates about technology, lack of preschool preparation…all of these and more are the reality for our country’s educational system, and we hear a lot about it.
I hate to sound simplistic, but I have to believe that it’s going to be the people involved and their intentions that will make the most difference toward “curing” whatever might ail us as an institution. Hopefully, it will be the students most affected by the pervasive issues in our education system who will rise to find positive solutions.
The main thing to remember is that, at the end of the day, we need to be concerned most with how these issues are affecting our students. Sometimes it IS and SHOULD BE about us as professionals – fighting for proportional rights including pay, collaboration and prep time, and good working conditions. But even considering our professional expectations, happy teachers=successful students. We forget that sometimes, in pursuit of retaining our dignity, that we wouldn’t be doing this unless there were students who need us to guide them. Our love for them and our belief in the value of education MUST prevail.
We are “The Cure,” so to speak. Our enthusiasm, our innovation, our passion – those are the things that will lead us to better things in our education system, and in best meeting the needs of our students. Sometimes we just have to recalibrate, regroup and come out fighting for a system that may be broken, but MUST be adapted to address the students in our classrooms.
Do Good Work.