This past week’s Chicago Teachers’ Union strike has once again drawn public attention to teachers and their work. In a great blog post this week on Education Week Teacher, teacher Sandy Merz talks about the need to clarify public perceptions of what teachers actually do and their roles in influencing education policy.
“Most everyone recognizes that teaching is vital work that demands a special kind of endurance and caring, often against long odds in trying circumstances. Yet I rarely meet non-teachers who think that the job is very complicated,” he says.
Merz envisions ways to remind strangers on a plane of what it really takes to teach: “We should be ready with examples that leave no doubt about the panorama of complex skills that accomplished teachers take a career to master,” he writes. And he spells out ways that teachers are like engineers, artists, doctors.”
What about you? What professions do you channel in the classroom? What special skills do you think teaching takes that the general public might not be aware of?