Why do you teach ?

Instead of “collaboration” meetings, a co-worker and I have regular “cold-libation” meetings each Friday. Today (Wednesday) just happened to become a Friday. We’ve seen troublesome behaviors increase, and we’ve seen larger numbers of students checking out. By checking out, I mean a large number of students have refused to take their final exams. Those students who do take the final exams generally fail. A majority of students fail the classes as well.

During our cold-libation meeting, we discussed why students check out to such a degree:

  • Our district encourages failure:
    • No attendance policy.
    • No requirement for middle-school graduation (any student, as long as he/she shows up to school, may pass on to high school).
    • We’re required to give a final which encompasses the entirety of the class. The students can pass or fail, but ultimately it does not matter whether the students pass or fail.
    • The only thing that matters is the state test.
    • And the state test only matters for teachers — If a student fails the state test, he/she may move on. Teachers? That’s a different story.
    • most students see and understand these faults and therefore refuse to take a teacher’s test.

My co-worker was frustrated over this today and asked me: “Why do we do this? Why do we choose this profession when we have abilities which would make us more money in other fields?”

After a discussion, we came to the conclusion that we’re here for the greater good. We can’t accept that anyone else would place himself/herself in such a position — that a desire for money equals self-promotion.

We’re not here for self-promotion, and we’re not here to include ourselves in the focus of our work. We’re not here to chastise or placate, and we’re not here to fill any vacancy. We are here to contribute to the greater good. We do necessary work.

Any teacher could go on and on about the need for and utilty of teachers, but I’ll leave it up to you…

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