Yes, I am a teacher. No, I am not a hero. I am not a martyr. Nor am I a saint, knight in shining armor or wizard. I am a teacher. I eat M&Ms, wear dirty socks on days that I forget to do my laundry, and eat salads that my fiancée makes me for lunch.
I appreciate the massive amount of support that has been poured over my profession ever since the cursed Common Core was implemented. But we teachers can handle the problems and negativity. We are not poor, helpless punching bags smacked around by big government and lawmakers.
Do not look upon me or us with sad, puppy dog eyes, or kowtow to our profession. We joined the ranks of teachers because we care about kids and making the world a better place. Not for platitudes and revelry. We knew the risks.
There are thousands of people who work harder than we do. Single moms who scrubs pans for minimum wage. Fathers who work two jobs and barely get to see their children in the hopes of giving them a better future.
Truck drivers. Loggers. Coal miners. Sewage workers. Migrant workers.
We all make the world go round. Not just teachers.
So thank you for your support. But we can handle the Common Core monster. We can handle the problems, many as they are, facing public education today.
The best thing for you to do is not stand on street corners with signs and misplaced rage. The best thing for you to do, for teachers and everyone else, is to support your children. Teach them wrong from right. Teach them manners. Teach them how to behave so that we don’t have to.
Read to them. Show them how to use the internet for answers to math problems that you don’t know. Parents are the first and best teachers.
I see your son or daughter for 40 minutes a day. Much of that time is spent re-focusing students, explaining and re-explaining directions, and then re-focusing students.
You are the first line of defense. Not teachers.
Parents are the heroes. Not teachers.
We give the children a few tools that they may or may not need to survive in the real world. Will your son ever need to identify symbolism at his day job? Probably not? Will your daughter need to derive square root or find the hypotenuse of a right triangle? Doubt it.
Will your son need to listen and follow directions when spoken to? Will your daughter need to do work, even when she doesn’t want to? Yes and yes. These are the lessons you teach.
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