Teaching Profession Video

VIDEO: One Teacher Says Teaching Is a Profession, Not a ‘Work of Heart’

By Emma Patti Harris & Madeline Will — March 14, 2022 4:34

Jherine Wilkerson, an 8th grade English/language arts teacher in Peachtree City, Ga., recently penned an essay for Education Week titled, “I Don’t Have to Love My Students to Be a Good Teacher.”

She said the word “love” in education leads to “an intentional devaluation” of the profession and has “caused people to believe that what we do is something that they can also do, and what we do doesn’t matter.”

When asked about the phrases like, “teaching is not a job, it’s a calling,” Wilkerson said, “I hate it because teaching is not a calling for me.”

“It was a choice. And when you consider something a calling, I think it really diminishes the work that you put into it.”

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Emma Patti Harris is a deputy managing editor for Education Week who oversees visuals and immersive experiences.
Madeline Will is a reporter for Education Week who covers the teaching profession.

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