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I am not sure there has been a time of greater demand to be a teacher. Right now, "teacher bashing" is at a level that has not been seen. It is at a point where being a teacher is something of a challenge. Consider the insights of a young teacher in reflecting about this condition:
“The last thing teachers unions think about are students,” “Teachers unions haven’t addressed teacher-quality issues, especially with the weakest teachers” and “Teachers unions have to start focusing on something other than pay and tenure.” It was painful to hear this — especially because such sentiments accurately describe the situation in many large urban teachers unions.
In seeing that the perception of teachers and the teacher union is that they are not driven by best practices and quality educators, I would think that success would be to remembered as a teacher who represented a sincere and authentic presence in the classroom as a quality teacher. I think that this involves being able to teach all children, regardless of levels. From the very lowest of children to the most talented of students, success in the modern educational setting would have to be in being able to reach out to all levels of students, making all of them feel validated. I think that another component of success would have to be displaying a level of solidarity with both student learning and professional support. The modern teacher faces challenges on so many ends. I am not convinced that the modern teacher who desires to be considered as a success can simply close their door and "let everything else go." Rather, they have to recognize that their success is contingent on ensuring their message of quality education is mirrored in as many realms as possible. The quality teacher, considered as a success, would be one in which their traits of effectiveness in the classroom is shared with as many other teachers as possible. Students demonstrate greater success when they are exposed to as many moments of quality instruction as possible. In expanding their own success with others, the hope for teachers' unions can be present. This success can also spin off to changing the view of the teachers' unions as realms that do not care about student progress. I think that these become areas in which the modern educator can be remembered by others as a success. They speak to success with their students and being one that connects their own experience with other teachers in order to find greater success replicated in arenas outside of their own classrooms.
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