I have always hated the saying, those who can, do…those who can’t, teach. How about, people are able to do…because they were taught by someone who loved the challenge of creating a better world. How about, sometimes people don’t need to be in the limelight, they want to nurture the talents of others. How about, being thankful there are people willing to take the abuse that comes their way, in order to better future generations. There is no future without teachers.
My husband received tenure last night, on Zoom, a sea of screens. People who already put in nine or ten hours at the school and would probably put in another few at home…waiting to receive words acknowledging their hard work, and the trust the district has in their abilities. They deserve to be seen. They deserve our appreciation.
It was a winding path for my guy, going back to school in his 40s for his Masters in Art Education. He had taken on a few part-time teaching jobs and found he loved being with kids. Teaching 2-year-olds and college art majors…he found his calling. I think it would be fair to say he gets his calm from illustrating and his joy from teaching. A doer and a teacher.
Tenure acceptance speeches…where no music plays you off. I was proud of his few but gracious words that started out something like this…I am a third generation teacher, my Grandma was a teacher, she taught in a one-room school house on the South Dakota prairie. My dad was also a teacher…
It is in his blood.
Greg’s Grandma Elizabeth grew up in a sod house (like the people who had it really rough on Little House on the Prairie). Not an easy life. She became a teacher, then a wife, then a mom of 17 children. This woman knew how to do it all. When chatting with her grandkids, it always comes out that they were Grandma’s favorite. Can you imagine the magic and love of a woman who could make hundreds of kids feel they were the most special person alive?
That is what good teachers do.