February 2015

Taylor Mali: What do Teachers Make?

I would like to share this video. I think it is a very inspirational video, but I also think it is a troubling one. It shows that our society (luckily we are much better in Canada than in the US) does not value teaching enough, as we are not ready not only to pay teachers so the profession becomes competitive as it should be, but we also are not ready to consider teaching to be a profession to begin with. Recently a future teacher came to me and he said that he was told that if he creates a good lesson plan, than anybody would be able to teach from it. What a stupid thing to say an what a bad thing to say to a future teacher! So if a doctor gives me his or her notes, I will be able to make a surgery? How can we encapsulate what a teacher should know by a lesson plan? How can we expect a teacher to teach a subject he or she has no expertise in? (this is what most elementary teachers are expected to do). I am asking these questions as I cannot imagine a more important PROFESSION than being a teacher! How long will it take us to realize how important it is and that not investing into preparing great teachers and mentoring them is a mistake that all our society will be paying for? I realize I might be too harsh here, but it hurts me that we should apologize for deciding to become a teacher. We make a difference and to make a difference in somebody else’s life, you have to make a difference in your own – you have to love learning, you have to have many opportunities to learn and to improve. This is what teaching is about. As I have an opportunity to work with many amazing teachers from all around the world – I keep thinking – how can there be a more important profession and how can we help practising and new coming teachers to become the best they can be. These are the questions I am grappling with daily. We need to support the people who are making a difference in our kids’ lives.

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