Teaching is probably the most underpaid, undervalued, unappreciated profession ever! The more I teach preschoolers, the more the truth and realisation of this hits me.
Think about it. At an average of 2 years, you entrust a stranger – usually a preschool or nursery teacher – with your child’s well-being and foundation of education. That in itself is a huge commitment. You expect the preschool teacher to teach your child alphabets, shapes, colours, nursery rhymes, writing, thinking and mathematical skills, develop their imagination and creativity in partnership with you (if you are a parent who likes getting involved). A lot of parents just let the teacher do all the teaching – right down to emotional, social, physical and mental development!! Your baby is helped by the teacher to develop self-confidence and become a little independent individual.
Whatever we are today, however successful we are, at some point, one teacher or the education we have received has had something to do with it. Even if you were born a genius, the knowledge a teacher imparts, the support we receive (or don’t receive) – be it preschool, junior school, high school or college … that’s built up our foundation, our core strength.
“If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn’t want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher’s job.” ~Donald D. Quinn
I’m not saying all teachers are fabulous (but then that applies to any profession right?!) But a great teacher can inspire and shape your life. I remember in high school I could never stand up and present in front of strangers without panic hitting me. My English teacher registered me for the school debate competition, where we had to present our “arguments” in front of the whole senior school. I went into utter panic. Was she crazy??? My teacher – very coolly – sat me down and gave me tips and tricks on how to present, how to pretend no-one’s there but me, breathing exercises etc. I did it, and came second. Today I can present anything, anywhere to anyone, and in my profession of advertising – that’s been a huge asset.
Teaching is a profession that teaches all other successful professions. And yet they get paid peanuts. Think about it ….