Saturday, July 3, 2010

Thank a Teacher Today

This weekend is first since last October when I haven't had a class to prep for or homework to grade. This was my second year of teaching for the Celebrant Foundation and Institute. I teach three courses for the Institute:
This year was extra busy. I taught three sections of Fundamentals. Then, in the second half of the class year, I  earned my certificate in Funerals and Other Ceremonies for Healing while teaching a section each of Families and Weddings.  

I thought that was as busy as things could get. Then I was given the opportunity to create and teach a course I had proposed to the Institute, an introduction to social media for Life-Cycle Celebrants®.  Let me tell you, it was one of the most challenging things I've ever done.

The other courses I've taught came with full curricula, all of the class materials prepared and ready.

My course was three, one and half hour sessions and I created the course myself from scratch. I taught three topics, one on each night, in a webinar format. I answered questions, but there was no homework to grade. The amount of time I put in to each course in creating and prep-word was a minimum of 10 hours.

My point?

I've always wanted to teach. And I am thrilled that I get to teach subjects that I love. Growing up, I always pictured myself as a high-school English teacher and I have many friends today who are educators. But when I looked into becoming a teacher a few years ago (I went as far as taking the PRAXIS exam) I realized that I just couldn't afford to make the change.  The pay cut I'd have to take as a teacher would my already struggling family too deep in the red.

From what I see in the news and hear from my friends it's getting harder and harder to be a teacher.  Salary cuts, layoffs, and an education system that makes teachers spend more time training kids to pass standardized test than learn to think critically aren't helping. It boggles my mind that teachers are so under appreciated. When I was a kid I couldn't understand how it was that baseball players made more than teachers. Now that I have a practical understanding of the investment of time and dedication--OUTSIDE the classroom, it absolutely astounds me.

So this is to all my teacher friends--thank you.

And to everyone--vote for people and programs to support education, ask your kids' teachers what you can do to help. It doesn't even matter if you don't have kids. We all benefit when we educate the next generation.
Gifts from my first Celebrant students.   
Every teacher should be so honored.

Updating this post to add a video I stumbled upon today.

Taylor Mali: What teachers make | Video on

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