“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
It’s a tough time to be a teacher. It’s been a long year.
We’ve had major strikes by teachers all over the world: Chicago, Victoria (Australia) , British Columbia, Ontario, Zimbabwe, South Africa, United Kingdom, etc. Teachers have waged a battle against the encroachment of standardized testing and unfair teacher evaluations systems and public opinion of teaching as a professions seems very low. It’s led some to call this a “War on Teachers“.
As I prepared to greet students on Monday morning I realized I’d not only need to reassure them that school was a safe place to be, but also confirm that school would be closed because of a strike. The real world was “shaking the snow globe” of our classroom and I didn’t like it.
Being an effective teacher is challenging, even at the best of times. When “the world” conspires to make it harder I question what we were doing and why. I’m good at looking for the light inside the darkness, but it seems we’ve arrived at a very bleak place.
Sometime today, as I walked with a picket sign, the clouds cleared and a path opened.
We need to make this world better. A place where people are respected and valued, get what they need and don’t live in fear. The most effective and honorable way I know to help make that happen is for me to be a teacher. To help my students to become the best they can so they can go out and create that world.
I’m rededicated to that. The hope that we can will sustain me.