Friday, September 24, 2010

So Oprah Thinks I Care?

I got into education to be a teacher.  Think of that statement fore it may be simple but it is powerful.  I am here to teach.  Not to save, not to comfort, not to emphathise, but to teach.  Yet all of these other aspects of the job are things I do gladly, willingly, and often.  In fact, every day I look forward to coming to my job, every day, I know that my students will surprise me, amaze me, question me.  How many people have that intimate luxury of truly loving what they do.  I do, and no matter what Oprah says, or the people who follow her every word; I am making a difference.

Of course, I was as outraged as most after the infamous show on education.  Who wouldn't be when something that they work so hard at every day, that we shed tears over, comes under attack?  And then you distance yourself from it, remove yourself from the equation and think about what was truly said.  Yes, the educational system in America is in crisis, and yes, there are "bad" teachers, or ineffective ones as Michelle Rhee called them,.  And yes, the show forgot to highlight the incredible people that love what they do.  And why are we surprised?  It is not sensational to tell people that you love your job, or that you work 14 hour days, or you come in on the weekends to set up your room and get ready.  It is not shocking that you give students' rides so they can come to school functions.  It is not newsworthy that you spend your summers learning how to be better, smarter, more accountable.  And yet, that is what we do.   And we do it because we want to.

Teaching is a choice for me.  It was never a calling in the true sense of the word, but when I came to it, it was right, and I knew it.  I knew that here was a chance for me to reach out and make a difference.  Yes, it is a cliche to some but cliche can also mean that it is a universal truth that we all accept and repeat.  If you do not believe that you can change the world then you don't have any business being a teacher.  And so what if Oprah focused on the negatives.  That is the type of society we have become; negativity sells.  Negativity makes people do.  And doing is what we need!  So while some are waiting for Superman, I keep on going to my job, that I cannot even call a job because I love it that much.  And yes, I know I will never be rich and in this society that is a hard truth, but so what?  I breathe teaching.  I live for these kids.  They are my family as much as my husband and daughter are.  I am not worried about what Oprah says or anyone else for that matter as long as I know I am making a difference.  And no one can take that away from me.  So don't let it be taken away from you!


Miss Teacha said...

a beautiful post. Thank you for reminding us where our focus should be as our nation sees everything that is wrong

Anonymous said...

I love teaching also, but fear it is being taken from us by the politicians and the media. so I will fight for our profession and for excellence in public education.

Anonymous said...

I love following you on Twitter as well as reading your blog because your passion for teaching is contagious.... I grew up in Madison, Wi and now teach 5th grade in Wa and when I am feeling down about my profession you always seem to bring me back up. @teachjane

Anonymous said...

Loved reading your post, too bad Oprah had to focus on the negative. Your post is so true!

gret said...

I loved this post Pernille. It's straight from the heart.
We have the most wonderful job, we can't let what others say take that away from us.
What was said on the show was absolutely unfair.I love your positive attitude towards it.
I loved what you said: "I keep on going to my job, that I cannot even call a job because I love it that much."
Actions speak louder than world. It's up to us to prove them wrong!
Thanks for inspiring me every day!

Lissa Metzler said...

I don't think people realize all the extra time teachers put into their job. It is time for teachers to start standing up for themselves. Good for you!

photomatt7 said...


I didn't see the Oprah "special" and I'm glad, because it would have only agitated me. No one but us understands our own motivations toward teaching. We need our voices to galvanize.

Lori Sabo said...

Well said.


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