I recently shared the following quote with one of my classes, “A teacher has to make more decisions in a day than a brain surgeon.” I had seen this quote numerous times on social media. I was jokingly sharing the quote with them because I had to completely change my lesson at the last minute one day because of a technology glitch.
But the meaning behind this quote means more now than ever. As educators right now we are in uncharted territory.
Our lesson plans, curriculum maps, hands on activities, science experiments, field trips and time with our students was suddenly halted. And every educator, whether it be a classroom teacher or an administrator, had to make some quick decisions. Some of these decisions provided “distance learning opportunities” in every subject for parents, meals for kids who needed them and opportunities for students to get what they needed at school.
All of this was decided and executed in less than 3 days.
Recently my brother, who is a clinical pharmacist, said to me “One good thing to come out of this pandemic is that your profession is getting the credit it deserves.” He and his wife (also a clinical pharmacist) are dealing with this crisis first hand alongside numerous other health care professions. I replied to him, “Well, it seems that both of our professions are often on the front lines when the sh** hits the fan in this country. ” Hopefully there is never is a time in my teaching career when I have to make a decision that may mean life or death, as a brain surgeon would. But this has always been a real fear of mine when thinking about school violence, another crisis in this country.
To say teachers have to be flexible everyday is an understatement. To say we are overpaid for what we do is naive. To say we are “glorified babysitters” is ignorant.
Personally, I think we should be running the country, we certainly could be making better decisions. -E