"Education a la carte"
Updated: Aug 14, 2020
We live in the age of Amazon Prime.
We want what we want and we want it now.
A new book, check, new sneakers check, binge watching two or three seasons of our favorite show,check.
From a quick meal to a new work out machine, the world is at our fingertips and only one click away.
It doesn't come as a surprise that we see ourselves as customers who must get their every need met.
As an educator, i see this nature we have as a huge problem for the people who work inside of the classroom as well as the ones behind the scenes in a leadership position.
As someone who is in both these roles, i think it is my duty to shed some light.
Working with human beings is so much more than just teaching.
Almost everyone in the Education field is driven by a sense of duty, deep love for what we do.
We respect and honor the next generation, like caring for a growing plant, it is part of who we are.
We look at our students as our family, our responsibility.
We care for their academic success and we worry about their social emotional well being.
Human beings are not a mathematical equation, we are complex beings with emotions and thoughts.
We are all familiar with the phrase "Those who can't do, teach".
This phrase is not only an incredibly rude statement but also it couldn't be more untrue.
It should be changed to "Those who care and have a sense of duty, teach".
Most teachers spend hours planning and creating materials, grading and making sure their students will do well.
In fact, these days, being a teacher means having to reinvent your entire ways, facing the unknown, being a superhero with no cape.
The task is equally challenging for those who are in Educational Leadership too.
School leaders are constantly trying to support the teachers, reinvent the school models and try to satisfy the parents while simultaneously ensuring the students success, safety and well being.
This Pandemic opened people's eyes briefly as to the complexities of being an educator.
Parents saw the constant difficulties teachers faced trying to meet the academic, social emotional needs of so many diverse students.
Parents started raving on line, they showed their appreciation and encouraged educators around the country.
There was outpouring support from every corner, overflowing social media and most of us in the field felt tremendously uplifted.
Only weeks later, our memory started to fail.
We are back to our Amazon mentality.
Sadly, we forgot we left in June as very satisfied customers, we have returned as if we had never really enjoyed countless hours of dedication and love.
It's not our fault, we are simply filled with anxiety.
We are starting the school year once again and fear is in our minds.
We are returning to school absolutely consumed with uncertainty.
The schools we are returning to are new to everyone, the administration, the teachers and the children.
Uncharted territory as we are not yet out of the woods, Covid-19 is still a huge obstacle in our daily lives.
Therefore, in a way, our reactions are perfectly understandable.
Once things settle down, we might be able to have the emotional strength and the space to relax a bit,think things through.
Once we do get there, perhaps we can re think the value we are giving to our educators.
Are we being fair as a society?
Are we sufficiently compensating the field?
Do we know how to appreciate our educators in the long run?
Let me help you understand with this example:
If we were to go to a restaurant and we had the best sushi of our lives, when we return as customers would we act like the chef has something left to prove?
The answer is no, we would return happy because the chef not only met our expectations, he surpassed them.
What if the chef was preparing 30 different dishes and did an outstanding job with all of them?
We would be impressed, hold on to those feelings, recommend the restaurant and be happy to return.
Why can't we do this when it comes down to our schools?
I'm not saying this to those of you who may have had a bad experience but to those of us who saw how the educators went above and beyond.
Let's hold on to that feeling we had in June and return to school with a sense of hope and trust in those who helped us already as they are trying their best to adjust once again to new models.
Let's turn off our Amazon Prime mentality for a bit and connect to the idea that education is about people, it's organic.
Education requires support and nurturing.
I know thousands of teachers will thank us for it.
Our children will be the ones who will win in the end as a result of our shift.