School & District Management Opinion

Why It’s Time to Elevate and Celebrate Teachers and Teaching

By Starr Sackstein — January 31, 2016 3 min read
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We can all spout many things that need to change within our educational systems in order to improve them, but how often do we spend time actually talking about what’s right?

All around the world there are amazing people who dedicate their lives to the improvement of society, one child at a time; it’s a global effort. And although we may not know each other, there is a commeraderie among teachers as we can share in the delights and challenges of the profession in a way that no one else can.

That being said, let’s take some to really elevate our profession, by sharing the amazing things that happen in the day to day that can easily get overlooked.

This weekend, #ECET2’s national convening happened in San Diego. Between powerful teacher keynotes and lovely performances by student performers, teachers had the opportunity to be rock stars at an event, and why shouldn’t we be?

First, every day teachers have the opportunity to touch the lives of the children and their colleagues, so instead of choosing to focus on what isn’t working, smile and be proud of what is. Take the opportunity to thank some one for something specific. Give them a #ShoutOut and share the positive energy of good choices that make for a better learning and living environment.

Second, the teaching profession shouldn’t be a career we consciously usher students away from, but instead one that we encourage for the many wonderful experiences that challenge us as human beings as well as our ability to share our passions and cultivate others’ passions. We should never miss an opportunity to share our stories and inspire those who are considering a career in the best profession there is.

Check out some final thoughts from an invigorating weekend that promises to be brought back with every teacher who has attended. It’s time to change education and we start by treating those who do the hardest work with a great deal of respect.

Here is what some folks from the conferences are saying on Twitter on the #ECET2 hashtag:

Ben Owens @engineerteacher “Today redefined my ingredients of a great conference: drink from a firehose of knowledge, share ‘til you can’t talk, crying, singing. #ecet2"

Tania Chico @flowerkinz "@engineerteacher So true! #ECET2 Speakers and new friends have been life changing, soul enriching, invigorating, and awe inspiring.”

Molly Hayes @MsHayes222 “Teachers are the best people because their business is helping people become people. #heart #ECET2"

Brittany Ray Crowell @b_ray_crowell “So many amazing moments and ideas to reflect on. I’m already evolving. Can’t wai to sort it all out and put it into action #ECET2"

Michelle Francis @DolphinTeacher1 "@gatesed thank you, thank you, thank you for this opportunity. Every teacher should get this opportunity. #ECET2"

Jo-Ann Fox @AppEducationFox “Whenever you hear something good, tell two people. #ECET2 @LS_Karl @Looksforsun”

Douglas Hodum @DougHodum “As I reflect on #ECET2 in San Diego, the power in the room is a sign of the passion in the room. Outstanding & honored to be here.”

Anna Keith @MTTeacherCoach “Thank you @gatesed for helping me remember! #ECET2 ‘Teaching is my life’s purpose and passion!” #WhyIteach

And this was just a small piece of the magic. For more tweets, recorded live-streams and pictures visit the #ECET2 hashtag on Twitter and follow @ECET2natl

After being around such inspirational teacher leaders, I’m reminded of what I do what I do every day both in and out of the classroom. I teach to improve the lives of the children I connect with and to set them on their journey into live with an amplified voice and clarified dream. Thank you to the amazing teachers I’ve met this weekend for sharing your stories and learning with me.

So teachers, this one’s for you... Teacher2Teacher put this short #WhyIteach video together.

Raise Your Voice Every teacher has a #whyiteach story. We want to hear yours. Posted by Teacher2Teacher on Saturday, January 30, 2016

When you go back to work on Monday, take a moment to really reflect on what it is that you makes you excited about coming to work each day. Linger on it and then write about it, share it and make sure you spread the word to other teachers who need to hear it.

Educators need to be appreciated; it makes all of the challenging parts of the job easier.

What will you do today to celebrate and elevate those around you at school and to improve the environment in which you work? Please share!

The opinions expressed in Work in Progress are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.