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  • Veronica Noyce

    I have been teaching for seven years, and, at least in the state of Arizona, it is getting harder to say anything good about education. I have had to fight for my job every year, as budget cuts eat away at any chance at job security. And when I try to upgrade my skills, it is never good enough. At this point, I cannot even afford to go back to school. I love teaching, and those who care about the profession, but when I am laid off in May, it will likely be the last year I teach, at least in the public school system, for some time to come. I'm thinking of returning to journalism, or visual art as a career. Biut I may need to sell shoes or something until that happens.

  • Chandra West-Fort

    I think everyone should have to visit/teach in a classroom for at least one day to see what being a teacher is like. My own mother used to make disparaging comments about teachers, such as "Teachers have it easy; they get the whole summer off!" However, when she started substitute teaching, she finally understood the challenges we face and is much more complimentary of teachers!

  • D. McNair-Lee

    I have one quibble. I do think that there are some born teachers. I believe that for some, it is a gift. I've been teaching one way or another since I was 10 years old. Now do I believe that every great teacher was a "born teacher"? No, but I do think that there are teachers who do the "art" of this job with agility and grace.

    • Lillie Marshall

      I hear you! In every field and for every challenge, certain people have skills and passions that are a natural match.

  • Lori Nazareno

    I would add the following:

    Don't say: "in the trenches" when talking about teaching or interacting with students. We are not at war...we inspire young minds!!!

    Don't say: "I'm going 'back' to the classroom", if you return to teaching students from some other role or position. Teaching is a move forward and we help students do the same...

    • Lillie Marshall

      YES!!!!!!!! Those two phrases have always upset me, too!

  • Brian Gloede

    Just a quick comment: You seem to have confused "saints" and "martyrs"! Saints need not die in great pain/hardship--just be holy in their exploits. You've described martyrs. Otherwise great article on the power of words.

    • Lillie Marshall

      You're right! That said, the general gist about saints is that they suffer greatly at extreme sacrifice to themselves.

  • Colin Turner

    Here's another one I would add: Every time you meet a teacher, or get a chance to weigh in about the education debate, think of those KEY teachers you had in school. The ones who changed your life. Then, ask the teacher about her/his students.

    Every great teacher gets to be THAT teacher for some of their students. Teaching is a profound privilege, and one of the most stimulating and challenging professions out there. And every single day, we get the chance to be THAT teacher for someone.