I don’t want any gifts for Christmas.
(From my students, I mean. Husband dear? You have my list.)
I don’t want a mug that says, “World’s Best Teacher”, or a gift certificate to Starbucks, or even (gasp) a bottle of wine.
I know these things are purchased with the Christmas spirit in mind but, in my humble opinion, they neither necessary nor needed.
Teaching is my job and I get paid for it. I don’t need a gift for doing my job.
That doesn’t mean I don’t want something for Christmas. It’s just that you can’t buy it at the mall.
Here’s what I wish was under my tree this Christmas:
1. From: The general public – Respect. Teaching is one of those jobs that everyone has an opinion on because once upon a time they went to school and they saw how things were done and they know how things could be better. Everyone, from Joey at the grocery store to Bill Gates at Microsoft, thinks they know better than teachers (who have both the education and the experience).
2. From: My administrators – Respect. I know what I’m doing. Help me do it by supporting me, standing by me, and guiding me when I get off track. If I have your support, I can do anything.
3. From: My fellow teachers – Respect. We are all in this together. Let’s share our ideas, our plans. The more we work together, the better things will be for our students. It takes a village to raise a child and we are the villagers.
4. From: Parents – Respect. I want your child to succeed. Sometimes your child may not like me very much and that’s OK. I’m not here to be your child’s best friend. My job is to help them to learn and to leave my classroom better educated than they were when they came in. But I can’t do it alone. I need your support. If your child comes home and says, “My teacher hates me” ask why he thinks that. Call me. E-mail. Talk to me about how we can work together to make things better for your child. Don’t immediately jump into Mama Bear mode and call the school demanding that my head be served on a platter.
5. From: Students – Respect. Listen carefully, please. Cell phones down. Eyes up front. I want you to succeed. The only reason I come to school everyday is because of you. I am always thinking about ways to help you, ways to engage you through interesting and relevant lessons plans. I want what’s best for you. If you got a 65% on your report card, it is not because I hate you. It’s because that is the mark you earned this term. And I promise you, I will do everything I can to help you improve. But I need your cooperation. I can’t do it alone. It’s like the old expression, “You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink.” I can walk you down to the water, but unless you put your head in and drink, you are always going to be thirsty.
6. From: Myself – Respect. This one is the hardest. Most teachers are extremely empathetic creatures. We care deeply about our students. It’s what makes us get up in the morning. But it’s also our downfall. When we read articles that describe teachers as lazy and greedy, it hurts. When parents jump to conclusions and attack us for trying to help their child, it hurts. When a student you’ve been bending over backwards trying to help, turns on you, it hurts. You start to doubt yourself and your choices. And then everyone suffers.
So, for Christmas this year, I want to give all of my fellow teachers (including myself) the gift of respect.
Believe in yourself.
7 thoughts on “What Your Teacher REALLY Wants for Christmas This Year”
I think teachers play a huge roll in our lives. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t experienced a teacher who made a difference in their lives. For myself it was two teachers in secondary school, one who taught me to love my national language for life, and the other who understood I had issues with authority and helped me through. I have two children who have finished school, both of whom had a number of incredible teachers who went so far beyond anything I would have expected as their mother.
So Happy Christmas teacher, you do make a difference every year, every class. (said with massive respect!)
Reblogged this on Poetry by Pamela and commented:
What a great blog from a teacher. I’m a huge supporter of education and think we have politicized our children’s education too much. I’m happy to share this message from a teacher.
Beautifully stated … ! May the joys of your season include the gift of respect that is so well deserved by those of you playing such an important role in the lives of our children! Thank you … thank you for reminding me not to take this exceptional resource for granted!
I agree with the Princess. I try and help students everyday. Some days are better than others. I’m in it for the kids.
You and your teacher wifey are the best, Mr. MacRae. Keep up the good work.
Very well written, and I couldn’t have said it better myself. Proof that teachers these days need standing ovations. *gives a standing ovation*