Public School Teachers: The True Egalitarians
I advise you NOT to click on the hot link because this fine article is embedded in an ad for "The Cartel," such an unfair thing to do. The ad is placed between the article title and Ron Isaac's name. This is worse even than the way Huffington Post attaches an ad for "Waiting for Superman" to every education commentary.
That said, Ron Isaac has written a lovely little place. You can read it here--without ads. This site is absent of corporate influence, supported only by good will. . . .
by Ron Isaac
It may sound simplistic but it's really very simple. As public school educators we embrace children from all the world and they mean all the world to us. Our arms are open, our minds are open, our hearts are open, and, not being charters, all our schools are open to them. Without exception.
We treat all children as potential prodigies.
We take no child for granted and we accept none as lost. All our kids are fit to teach and meant to learn. No child is "damaged goods" to us. No matter their fortune of birth or breaks in life, they are ours as gifts, never to begrudge but always to serve. That recognition embodies our instinct and our attitude.
We are public school educators.
It's not easy. It demands order, imagination, infinite patience, tolerance, and a big repertoire of teaching strategies. But we keep our "eyes on the prize," neither distracted nor deterred by the insults and myths hurled against us by the hopeless enemies of public education and against its defender, our union.
As they carp, snipe and slander, we build bridges. As they stroke fallacies we fortify our idealism with results in the classroom. As they fuel the assault on public education, we celebrate our kids and their future. Such is the dividend of our profession.
Our children are our inspiration. Wherever their origin on the map of needs. Regardless of odds and obstacles. The homeless, the emotionally disabled, the wheelchair-bound, the innocents scarred by war, the non-masters of language, the acutely beleaguered and the chronically afflicted. All the inexpedient kids who don't test well and the ones inconvenient to the budget axe men.
No kid embarrasses us. We don't hide them, make excuses, or dismiss them. We showcase them. Proudly. They are, every one, our bounty.
We are public school educators, after all.
Every day in your workplace, whether a classroom or guidance office, you seize the challenge of doing justice to every "kind" of extraordinary kind, including the ones who don't win lotteries and tend to fall by the wayside because others allow them to.
It may sometimes be an unthanked job, but it is never a thankless job.
Ron Isaac is a retired public school English teacher and staunch unionist.
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