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TO RETIRED TEACHERS, BOOMERS AND ABOVE

Roman Students With Teacher via mitchelteachers.org

Roman Students With Teacher
via mitchelteachers.org

Talk to a retired teacher long enough and one thing becomes apparent: they’ve got the best stories.

Listening to the stories is one thing, convincing them to write them down so others can enjoy them is quite another.

The argument for them to write goes like this:

You’ve heard people speak from the heart. Nothing is more important to parents than their kids, and nothing more important to kids than their friends.

Teachers hear from both sides with the filters off.

Parents want their kids to succeed in school, pass to the next grade, then the next, and learn to navigate the problems along the way.

Kids want to keep up with their pals. No one wants to be left behind. If you’ve had kids who failed a grade or two sitting in the next desk over, you know how it goes. You know they don’t want to be there, they know they don’t belong.

How many seventh graders grow sideburns and mustaches? How many eighth graders drive to school? Only the ‘held back’ get that advantage.

Only teachers have the ground level view of those students. Did they reach them? How did they reach them? How did they keep their attention and get them through the school year without giving them the ‘social’ pass?

Since teachers don’t take the same confidential pledge as doctors and lawyers, their stories would help us understand things better. They may not be comfortable infringing on others’ stories, but who else knows them better?

Have you heard of the kid who overcame obstacles to stay in school? Teachers hear it every day.

Have you heard about the kid who works hard in school to stay eligible for sports? Retired teachers heard it every season.

How about the kids who overcame the odds, then went to college to become a teacher like the ones who helped them? Teachers know lots of them.

If you are a retired teacher, you served the higher calling of your community. You’re still a trusted figure dealing with the greatest treasures, our fondest memories. Who doesn’t remember their favorite teachers?

In the process of education it’s easy to start the day with the goal of building enough momentum to tackle the next day. The hard part is seeing the ‘teaching moment.’ Good teachers see it at every turn. Others wait for it, or ignore it completely.

Like the executives who dream of retiring and getting off their ‘plugged in’ life, maybe teachers who’ve done thirty classroom years just want to be left alone. This post isn’t written for them.

Teachers who see teaching moments with kids, with neighbors, and with strangers on a plane flying over the Grand Canyon, need to share their point of view. It’s a unique perch with a special voice.

If you’re an Oregon State trained teacher who was a year behind Mel Counts and sat next to a blogger who encouraged them to start their own blogging project, this is for you.

Both of you.

About David Gillaspie
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