I agree that education is all about the children, after all, they are the ones we serve, both as individuals and as communities. Those children we send into our educational system, whether it be public, private or home schooled are indeed what a great education is about. But at some point we gave up our dignity as educators. We got so infatuated with believing that it is all for the children that we forgot that we need decent work environments to sustain us. That we need to be a little bit about ourselves as well.
The quickest retort to any educator who stands up and fights for change is “You are against the children.” We are not allowed as teachers to ask for better pay, because some believe that the money will then be taken away from the students. We are not allowed to ask for respect in a profession that gives little otherwise, because teachers are public servants funded by the tax payers and we should just be happy that we have a job. We are not allowed to point out that we do work more than 8 to 3 every day and most of us do not get the summers off because that doesn’t fit with the box that society has created for us as lazy, indulgent, and taking an easy job. But most of all, we are not allowed to say that yes, indeed, it is about the children, but it is also about the teachers.
As teachers we cannot be all about the children if we do not have work environments that support and nurture us. Communities that rally around us. Governments willing to pay us a better wage. If we fight for change we must not be for the children, but instead selfish and demanding. However, those children that we all serve, deserve to have teachers that don’t need to work an extra job on top of the 60 hours many of us put in. Teachers that do not spend their own money on extra supplies because otherwise the students will suffer. Teachers that are respected because they do make it all about the children. So yes, I agree, education is all about the children but it also about those teachers that prop them up to be the leaders of tomorrow.