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You want to teach these kids?

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week…or so I’m told by a post on from my sister’s Facebook page. Happy Teacher Appreciation week to my sister, Cherie, and my brother-in-law, Terry. They are great teachers who are impacting the lives of a lot of students (and parents, too.)

They are part of a group of teachers — public and private school teachers — who perform a great public service and deserve every accolade they receive. The difficulty of their job has been well-documented, and still is probably underestimated by most people.

However, this post is about another group of teachers.

The other group…

  • doesn’t get a classroom. I don’t mean they don’t have a ill-equipped, barely-stocked classroom. I mean they are given no classroom. You want to teach these kids? Figure out where, because we’re not going to give you a place.
  • doesn’t get curriculum or even basic school supplies. Again, nothing. You want to teach these kids? Figure out how and with what, because this school district isn’t giving you anything. Any item you need, buy it yourself.
  • doesn’t get training. You want to teach these kids? Good luck, because we’re not providing you with instructions or helps or seminars or other teachers to help you.
  • doesn’t get paid. You want to teach these kids? Hope you really enjoy it, because we’re not paying you. No need to think about raises, because a 2% increase of zero is still zero. In most cases, this means you don’t get discounts offered to public and private school teachers, either. No free coffee at McDonalds during FCAT week. No discount at the Apple Store. [EDIT: Thankfully, I am wrong about the Apple store!]

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week to that other group. You wanted to teach those kids, so you did. You made your own classroom, acquired your own stuff, and spent countless hours getting the training you needed in order to teach, instruct, and inspire. Despite not getting paid, you are reaping huge rewards as you see your students grow, mature, and eventually graduate.

And Happy Teacher Appreciation Week to Trudi, one of that other group — homeschool teachers. Seeing our third child graduate from high school and move on to college answers well the question we asked ourselves almost 20 years ago…you want to teach these kids? I’m glad you said yes.