I stood at my closet this morning wondering what to wear as I started my day as an educator. Should I slip on a nice knee-length dress that I have been dying to wear since losing that five extra pounds? Should I wear my new khaki slacks with the multicolored blouse that I just purchased from New York and Company, or should I don tactical gear so I can be prepared for the unexpected life of a teacher?
You don’t understand. I came to this profession ready to change the world one student at a time, to make a difference while assisting students in the learning process. I wanted to be a teacher, so I could allow students to learn in a creative learning environment that would aid in their success.
Little did I know that I would change the world by trying to instill values in children that reside in a valueless world. I didn’t know that I would have to put on the “whole armor of God” to teach in today’s schools. (Oh, but of course, there is no prayer in schools.)
See, there are no sissies allowed when it comes to education. I am fighting a war that I am not equipped to fight. Daily, I not only take on the pressures and fears of standardized testing, I have to deal with the Professional Learning Community and parents; the Advancement Via Individual Determination program, the Florida Standards Assessment and parents, the countless behavior calls and meetings, lesson plans and more plans and training and useless training. Did I forget to mention parents?
All of this and no training on how to stay safe as an educator.
We are not only educators; we are the army, navy, air force and marines rolled up in one. We are the FBI, CIA, local police and doctors. We are psychologists creating profiles on all students and their parents wondering when there will be another attack. We are doing all the work of the military without training!
So you see, there are no sissies allowed. I am here every day. I do more than the average person does by 8 a.m. I provide surveillance; I am aware of my surroundings, and I sweep my hallway to make sure that nothing is out of place and unfamiliar. I have created simulations of safe areas just in case.
I am in a war that I did not create with no front line to assist. I have no military training and only my fellow teachers in my platoon. I am fighting to save children because school is no longer a safe place. And just in case you didn’t get it the first time, No Sissies Allowed!