The fact that teachers are underpaid and undervalued is such a widely accepted truth that saying, “Teachers are underpaid/undervalued” has lost its punch. We have become desensitized to this shocking reality, which is dangerous.
Your children spend most of their childhood with their teachers. Have you taken the time to register the consequences of that fact? Teachers shape the identities and minds of our children. They have a profound influence over young people’s lives, whether they are competent mentors or otherwise.
Take a moment and reflect on your formative years. What teacher made a positive impact on your life? Was there a teacher you now consider ill-equipped to fulfill the duties of an educator? It’s likely you had at least one or two teachers who you recall fondly and one or two you recall negatively, and many in between who were probably unnoteworthy. Given the wealth of advances and resources presently available, we cannot allow the current mediocre practices to persist as the norm.
A huge part of the problem is a lack of formation opportunities for teachers. The academic demands on children is steadily growing, which adds to the burden of overworked teachers. Teachers are given directions on how to get their students to test well, but they’re not given instructions on how to motivate and lead their students well. Children have so many voices in their heads these days. Teachers need to be strategic and genuine leaders if they stand a chance of not being tuned-out.
Leadership development is a crucial component for preparing our teachers, and therefore our children, for success in all areas of life.