Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Attempting to Break the Stereotype

You've heard the jokes and been privy to the stereotypes. If you want an "easy" job, become a teacher so you get to have a million vacations and summers off.

I do not fit into the stereotype. Rather I'm counting down to the beginning of the school year.

Granted, with the first day of school comes a limited freedom for me and exceptional more work. I enjoy my summers with my two children. I use much of my summer to educate myself attending various webinars and reading a plethora of articles.  I take pleasure in being able to sleep later than the sunrise and indulge in a television show here or there.

However, my teacher-heart lives for the 180 days I get to interact with teachers and students in the hallways and classrooms. The end-of-summer advertised school supply specials make me feel invigorated. Something about starting with a clean slate for both the teacher and student exhilarates me.

In the ten years I've been an educator, I have encountered a number in the profession who view the summer vacation as a time to recharge, reflect, and renew just like me. The 2 months off are a great time to improve in the craft of teaching. Unfortunately, I have met plenty of other types of teachers who live from one vacation/break to the next simply enduring the teaching days in between. In my opinion, this attitude will impact the classrooms involved in spreading a general negativity.

Is there anything I can do as an educational leader to help encourage the drive and desire to grow and change and then enjoy the days of teaching? What steps can be taken to make school fun for both teachers and students? How can we change the stereotype the world has about the education profession? What can we do to ensure that the students become life-long learners?

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