I am taking a departure from my usual posts to this blog. I'd like to share the following essay with you. If you are so compelled, please feel free to share it with others. Thanks so much in advance.
Who is a Teacher?
In the wake of the senseless tragedy in
we as a nation are faced with an array of unanswerable questions, difficult
realities and unfathomable grief. That
the lives of 20 innocent children could be taken by such a horrific act is
beyond the comprehension of rational people – it was selfish and tragic,
senseless and heart-wrenching. Newton, CT
But, there is a truth and a constant that has surfaced in the face of this brutality against the youngest members of our society: the bravery, compassion and unselfishness of teachers. For it was the teachers of
who put their lives between savage
violence and the fate of their students.
It was the teachers who acted in the best interest of their charges –
without pause, without hesitation. This
had nothing to do with lesson plans or standardized test scores – this was all
about compassion and concern, consideration and care…and what was right. Sandy Hook Elementary
So often, teachers take it on the chin from the media seeking “easy” stories about incompetent educators or the public angered by higher school taxes. But, at the beginning of each day in this country millions of parents send millions of schoolchildren out into the world and out into the care of trusted, caring and unselfish individuals who are guided by one singular principle – the best interests of a young generation. For it is teachers who guide, counsel, direct, encourage, challenge, promote…and yes…protect their students so that they might become (as the U.S. Army puts it) “all they can be!”
I have the great honor and consummate privilege of working with a new generation of teachers – a corps of individuals who are committed to youngsters; who came into this profession not just to make a difference in the lives of children, but in society as a whole. Each semester, as I look out over my undergraduate classes, I am touched by the passion of their convictions, the energy of their desire and the dedication of their purpose in life. They are the best and the brightest – entering a profession with unparalleled possibilities and incredible opportunities to touch the future. They are certainly not in it for the money, the latest in classroom technology or long vacations. They are in it, quite simply, for the kids!
As we reflect on the events of December 14 – both as individuals and as a country – I believe we need to honor (indeed celebrate) the will of teachers – the single-minded determination that doing what is always best for children is one of life’s greatest callings…and most honorable professions. Certainly, the teachers of
unselfishly demonstrated that for an entire nation. Newton, CT
Anthony D. Fredericks, Ed.D.Professor of Education