Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Because Teachers are Superstars

                                                                     Image taken from here

School Year 2012-2013, my fifth year of teaching, officially ended last Friday when the school gave out its awards to the honor students and achievers for Recognition Day, and when the high school seniors marched to the tune of Elgar's and Verdi's immortal marches.

And yes, it's that time of easier living for teachers everywhere... it's summer time! The time that we work a mere 8 hours a day, when we no longer bring home bags of checkables every night, when evenings and weekends are filled with happy conversation, beloved friends, and AWESOME books.

Half a decade... I can scarcely believe I've been teaching for half a decade!! How quickly time flies when one is having fun. :) And yet... there is so much left to do.

“What if our children and young people learn to read and write but don’t like to and don’t? What if they don’t read the newspapers and magazines, or can’t find beauty in a poem or love story? What if they don’t go as adults to artistic events, don’t listen to a broad range of music, aren’t optimistic about the world and their place in it, don’t notice the trees and the sunset, are indifferent to older citizens, don’t participate in politics or community life?” -- Harvard education professor Dr. Vito Perrone ----> EVERY TEACHER'S NIGHTMARE! Certainly is mine.

As most of my friends know, I teach in an urban private school primarily catering to children from lower-middle/ middle-income families. The tuition fees are intentionally kept at an extremely affordable price, so much so that some people (who are unfamiliar with our school's sterling reputation and achievements for the past 19 years) judge us to be an inferior school, thinking that "you get what you pay for."

Well, I like to think of our school as a sort of "U.P. of the South." And in U.P., you most certainly do NOT get what you pay for. In fact, you get so, SO much more.

It's a struggle, I'll admit. It's a struggle when you, as a teacher, are by nature idealistic, and then on a daily basis, you encounter situations that test your integrity and values system. Which is why it is SO essential to recharge, something every teacher needs to make a priority every summer, to avoid the risk of burn out.

It's just like what Aristotle said: "The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet." I've tasted some of its fruit already, in the happy faces of the children I've seen grow through the years. I look forward to savoring the ripe finished products after my 70th year of teaching!!

Aside: The title for this post was inspired by this cute video of Hugh Jackman applying as a teacher http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fipSEmdj3i0
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