Thursday, March 10, 2011


Quickly, class - can someone name me a few famous folks who used to be teachers? Some of these are giants in U.S. history, some in the modern day entertainment industry and some are rather literate...literally...

John Adams, Thomas Paine, Lyndon Johnson, Woodrow Wilson, Patricia Nixon, Clara Barton and Eleanor Roosevelt!

Then there's Clarence Darrow - wonder if he taught Darwin's theory? (If I have to explain that joke, you weren't paying attention in U.S. History class - or were you?)

Entertainment - Billy Crystal, Gene Simmons, Sting. Kris Kristofferson, Roberta Flack and Mr. T!

Who knew that Andy Griffith taught high school English?

Then there's our famous poets and authors: Louisa May Alcott, Robert Frost, D.H. Lawrence, Stephen King, William Golding and George Orwell

Alexander Graham Bell taught "visual speech" prior to inventing the telephone.

So, what's the point here? A rather impressive group of people...all teachers.

( I had no idea until I researched this that Art Garfunkel had a doctorate in mathematics and taught at prep school in Connecticut before becoming the 2nd half of Simon and...)

So - I'm writing all this to get you interested in reading on! Why? Because (OH! I started a sentence with because my high school English teachers will be hunting me down for sure!)

Because...I've had it with Americans putting down our teachers. The recent events in Wisconsin have set boiling points very low for some people when it comes to unions and I see the teaching profession being attacked. It wasn't just in the past few weeks that I've witnessed this...everywhere you'll hear people say, "Oh, teachers make TOO much money, they only work what? 6 hours a day and get 3 months off every year - wish I had a job like that." Excuse me?

Read on - maybe I'll give you a quiz on this later...please have paper and pencil ready!

Now to all those who have said such harsh words about teachers - I notice a lot of you typing on computers...words with grammar and punctuation even. How did you learn to do this? Your mothers and your fathers? Perhaps - partially. My mom taught me my letters and how to spell several words to prepare me to enter kindergarten. My dad taught my basic number skills for the same reason. It was fun and I couldn't WAIT to get to school.

Who did I find when I got there? (GASP!) A teacher! She took the basic tools given to me by my parents and TAUGHT me things.

12 years later, after I estimate about 60 teachers had taught me various subjects, I graduated.

62 people who had a hand in what I know and do today.

Would I say they were useless and overpaid? NO!

Baseball players making 125 million over 5 years for playing a game that's mostly for entertainmetn purposes? (Don't yell at me for this - just pointing it out - I LOVE baseball...but still...) Bad actors commanding 12 million a film (approximately 30-60 days of work!) The good actors who learned their craft from TEACHERS...(GASP!)...probably don't make nearly that much.

So back to those 62 people....those teachers...they have had more effect on my daily life then any entertainer or athlete.

Don't they deserve a little consideration? I've heard them called "glorified baby sitters,"well, they feel that way too sometimes. I know teachers, they get so tired of being the ones that have to teach basic manners to kids, keep bullies from beating up the bullied, work with and try to help and reach 25-30 kids every single day if they're K-5 or 6th graders. Many more then that if they are secondary education teachers.

Who deserves a little respect here?

The salary most teachers make is nothing compared with the work they put in day in and day out - and don't sqawk about them working only 9 months of the year. Most of them try to further their education during their "off" months or work in camps or teach summer school! Their summers ARE NOT free...

People will support unions for policemen and firefighters but not teachers. I am all for policemen and firefighters. But guess what, folks? They too had teachers teach them their life's work. So, the next time, you see a policeman or firefighter doing their noble jobs and think - a teacher taught them how to do that! Wow!

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