Today is National Teacher Day, an opportunity to say thank you to a special educator.
Teachers don't always get the credit they deserve. In Ontario, where I live, the high salary and summer's off open the door to various attacks from parents and the public in general, who are tired of working hard for little compensation and long hours.
But, as the mother of a teacher I know that that summer off isn't as it appears. My son is at school well into the first part of July finishing up loose ends, and back again for the last couple weeks of August to get set for the upcoming year. Granted it's still a great time to be on holiday, but, when you consider he's also often in the classroom on weekends, too, it's not a whole lot more time off than many others enjoy.
Certainly, as with any profession, there are those who probably shouldn't have chosen this career path, whose interest in becoming a teacher may well have been based more on those summers off than on any great love or interest in helping to develop young minds. But sadly, these poor examples have us painting the entire profession with the same brush. It's unfair because there are many who really do have the kids' best interests at heart, while receiving in turn, little or no support from indulgent parents and the government.
Several years ago, in my newspaper days, I shadowed a teacher. I was surprised by how demanding the job can be, comprised of large classes, virtually little ability to discipline, little respect and longer hours than most believe. The teacher I was with arrived at 7:45 a.m. and was still there at 4:30 p.m. with a half hour lunch and no breaks.
A good teacher is worth every penny they make and every holiday they take. The impact they can have on a student's life is invaluable. I know I've never forgotten my favourites and am grateful to them for inspiring my love of words. Wish they could have done more about that math thing, but they were only human I suppose.
So here's a photographic salute to those who inspire an interest in knowledge:
iCLIPART.com Education Photos