I don’t think that this is true of most of the teachers in my district but I can see why Mr. Rogers might feel this way.
‘In my school a teacher who attends free professional development during the summer is either crazy or has too much free time. But this is not how I view it. I am a teacher. A teacher sees the world in a particular way, and it is not only when he is in a school. I am a teacher all the time. This is different from a person who teaches. A person who teaches punches an inner clock, even if that clock counts time outside of the classroom, all the while thinking what will I get for this time rather than what will my students get. I realize now that I can never help those who only teach, and I will continue to be frustrated if I try. But I am going to do my best to find all of the teachers in my district. So which one are you? Are you a teacher or a person who teaches?’
I definitely think that there are teachers in my district that are just clocking time and do not see the true value of each of our students. I find it hard to listen when these teachers refer to our students as those kids from ‘insert town’, like they have no aspirations. I don’t care what each of our students want to do with their lives. They may not be college bound and who says every one of them needs to be. The value in giving each of them my best is that they are all thinkers and individuals of worth. Therefore I have spent all summer again rejuvenating myself to be a better educator and frankly a better person. How I motivate myself carries over into the classroom and this year again I am full of ideas to inspire the students that will walk through my doors in two weeks. I too, have decided to let go of the frustration of trying to drag along the nonbelievers and to focus on the other educators that think like I do. I know that I do a great job, that I inspire others, and that I am a teacher that I want my own children to have. It has taken me years to stop apologizing for myself. No longer. I may not be perfect but I am who I am. I continue to learn and find new inspirations for myself. Not to toot my own horn but my students are lucky to have me and I AM LUCKY TO HAVE THEM.