And teaching is a job. Not a job I would want, ever. But it's a job. Can we please stop pretending that the teachers ONLY work "for the kids?"
And can we stop putting bumper stickers on our cars that say, "If you can read this, thank a teacher"? Because, really, if you can read this, thank the English for being all imperialistic and stuff. That's the real reason you can read this. Bossy English people and their conquering ways. It has nothing to do with teachers, mmkay?
Ok. Teachers work as professionals at a JOB. They're not your personal nannies, they don't do childcare, and they aren't your kid's parent. I think, actually, when teachers' unions and such advocate for more "wraparound services," that they are in the long run going to belittle the profession in the eyes of the taxpayer/parent. Teachers are already viewed as the folks who give Mommies "free time" during the day in plenty of circles. Surely you don't want to make that worse. Teachers are professionals. They do a job. When the last test is graded, they go home and have their own families and their own lives.
But by saying that, I'm in no way discounting the fact that most teachers DO care for the children in their classes. Professionals can care without crossing the line and getting all codependent and weird. I know Realtors (tm) who care very much about whether the families they worked with are happy with the houses they purchased. They work hard to ensure a good fit budget-wise, knowing the families' priorities in selecting a new home. And I know doctors who care very much about whether their patients live or die. You betya, they do.
Can professionals care without it being part of their job description, though? I've seen teachers that I can TELL are not fond of my children do a competent enough job. I was reading on some other teaching-type blogs, and they are allll starting to pop up with some sort of "Madonna/whore" dichotomy when discussing teachers. You know, perfect perky young and unmarried teacher who works 15 hours per day for the kids vs. greedy old bag who sucks up benefits because she's in a union and shoulda quit 10 years ago. That dichotomy. I know very few people who would "fit" the description of either extreme.
It all just seems a little silly. Usually people who get into teaching do so because they like working with children and/or want to spend time with their own children when they are out of school. I don't see too many bloodthirsty greedy OR kum-bay-aa "I'm going to change the world by teaching inner-city second graders to add" types signing up. Though I suppose they are out there, and some of you will direct me to their blogs and I'll be sorry I asked.
But most teachers? They're people. Teaching is their JOB. You know? JOB. They shouldn't have to pour out their entire lives, give out their personal cell numbers, and generally live to do nothing but teach. They shouldn't be required to love the children. Professional standard of conduct. Figure out what that is and then there you go.
Am I missing something here?