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The real reason teachers are heroes

I worry about our world. There is political unrest, social upheaval, economic collapse, crime, terrorism,
and all manners of disease just waiting to attack. And on a constant daily basis, we have the threat of
total global annihilation by climate change hanging over our heads. Really, it's amazing that we get up at
Yet, in the face of such overwhelming odds, teachers go to work everyday and try to change the world
one child, one student, at a time. Recently, after the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook and the deadly
tornado in Moore, Oklahoma, a blog was circulating around praising teachers for always having been
and always now being there to protect their students from flying bullets and falling walls. I must admit,
it struck a chord of truth. The educators I know and have had the privilege to work with are those brave
souls every day in the face of danger real and probable. I am proud to be part of the profession and I
know that I get to be part of a special group of people, all of whom are drawn to their work because it is
good and noble.
But we are not hired to be shields and shelter. We are hired to teach.
How then do we reconcile that inconsistency? How is it that we build our professional selves and take
pride in the academic excellence we push our students towards when the greatest visible good we may
do is to protect a child from the daily disaster forced upon us? How do we maintain sanity if we are
challenged at every turn for the efforts we make to be effective educators while we are at the same
time being called upon to sacrifice our lives to save ourselves or others against angry young people with
mental illnesses or weather that defies prediction? For a starting salary of about $25,000 a year?
Teachers aren't heroes for being shot while wrestling with an armed gunman or being impaled by debris
in the middle of a storm. Our teachers are heroes for showing up every day in a world that sometimes
shows little hope for normalcy let alone improvement. For believing over and over that helping students
think for themselves and advocate for their futures is necessary. For trusting that learning is possible for
all students and maybe the only thing that will save us.
We aren't heroes because we would die helping others if we were called upon to do so; we are heroes
because we live every day helping others even when we aren't summoned or acknowledged or even
seen. There is a louder call than crisis, and it is ignorance. And it leads to a nobler pursuit than heroism,
called perseverance. Yes we would surely protect those in our chargebecause we are humanbut we
do it in schools because we are teachers.
More about heroes, protecting, students, tornadoes, school, shootings, teaching, education, noble

Seems not a day goes by that we hear about problems with our nation's educational system. Test scores
are lower. Enrollment in the sciences is not up to expectations. Our students are lagging behind students
in other nations.

For whatever reason, teachers are being maligned for all the problems in the system. Johnny can't read
because the teacher has failed to identify the cause of his shortcoming and make the necessary
corrections. Sally was not accepted into college because her curriculum was not stringent enough. So
let's lay the blame for all our educational problems at the feet of the teachers. Au contraire! Permit me
to offer my take on this.

First of all, teachers these days are taking on expanding roles for which few of them signed up. Teachers
not only have to prepare lesson plans but have to act as surrogate parents, counselors, physicians,
mentors, referees and security officers.

So the role of teacher has changed dramatically over the years.

But consider this: Each time there is a school disaster in our nation such as a shooting, a hurricane, or
even a suspicious event in the school neighborhood, who always emerges as heroes - the teachers! We
have heard stories of teachers protecting students from a deranged gunman. And, of course, during the
recent Oklahoma tornado disaster we heard heroic stories of teachers covering students with their own
bodies. Is this what teachers signed up for? I think not. It is not in their job description, but teachers
have always placed the safety of children in their care first before their own.

So, before we criticize teachers, let's first examine the role they perform on a daily basis, which frankly
at times is outside the boundaries of teaching. Let's make a point to thank teachers for their
commitment to the learning process.
The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The great teacher demonstrates. The superior
teacher inspires. ~ William Ward
The art of a teacher is a true work of heart. . .

What lies within the heart of a teacher? It is a matter of give and take with the act of giving touching the
soul: giving of his/herself for the benefit of others. It is starting with a vision and watching it develop it
into a real-life picture. It is the desire to not waste a minute and the will to carry on even when a day
seems like 48 hours. It's working at school, working at home, working on weekends, and sometimes
working on holidays. It is a monumental task with the greatest of rewards: instilling courage, values and

BUT, why are teachers heroes?

* They nurture and care for our nations children,
* They take the blame when the blame is not theirs,
* Their work day never ends,
* They continue their education while educating others,
* Theirs is a world of patience and understanding when they themselves are so often misunderstood
and misrepresented,
* They instill the principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,
* Their life after school is often more school: tutoring, sponsorships, coaching, professional
development, graduate studies,
* They work hard but not for the money,
* They love what they do,
* They are the foundation, the rock, the support that makes America strong!

AND, these are just part of the reasons why teachers are our heroes!

A hero is there in the heart of a teacher who cares. . .

Teachers are Heroes

An essay written by an assistant principal in Ohio. By J.

"Where are the heroes of today?" a radio talk show host

He blames society's shortcomings on education. Too many people
are looking for heroes in all the wrong places. Movie stars and
rock musicians, athletes, and models aren't heroes; they're
celebrities. Heroes abound in public schools, a fact that
doesn't make the news. There is no precedent for the level of
violence, drugs, broken homes, child abuse, and crime in
today's America. Education didn't create these problems but
deals with them every day.

You want heroes?
Consider Dave Sanders, the schoolteacher shot to death while
trying to shield his students from two youths on a shooting
rampage at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.
Sanders gave his life, along with 12 students, and other less
heralded heroes survived the Colorado blood bath.

You want heroes?
Jane Smith, a Fayetteville, NC teacher, was moved by the plight
of one of her students, a boy dying for want of a kidney
transplant. So this woman told the family of a 14 year old boy
that she would give him one of her kidneys. And she did. When
they subsequently appeared together hugging on the Today Show,
even Katie Couric was near tears.

You want heroes?
Doris Dillon dreamed all her life of being a teacher. She not
only made it, she was one of those wondrous teachers who could
bring the best out of every single child. One of her fellow
teachers in San Jose, Calif., said, "She could teach a rock to
Suddenly she was stricken with Lou Gehrig's Disease which is
always fatal, usually within five years. She asked to stay on
job ... and did. When her voice was affected she communicated
by computer.
Did she go home? Absolutely not! She is running two elementary
school libraries! When the disease was diagnosed, she wrote the
staff and all the families that she had one last lesson to
teach ... that dying is part of living. Her colleagues named
her Teacher of the Year.

You want heroes?
Bob House, a teacher in Gay, Georgia, tried out for Who Wants
to be a Millionaire. After he won the million dollars, a
network film crew wanted to follow up to see how it had
impacted his life. New cars? Big new house? Instead, they found
both Bob House and his wife still teaching. They explained that
it was what they had always wanted to do with their lives and
that would not change. The community was both stunned and

You want heroes?
Last year the average school teacher spent $468 of their own
money for student necessities ... workbooks, pencils ..
supplies kids had to have but could not afford. That's a lot of
money from the pockets of the most poorly paid teachers in the
industrial world.

Schools don't teach values? The critics are dead wrong.
Public education provides more Sunday School teachers than any
other profession. The average teacher works more hours in nine
months than the average 40-hour employee does in a year.

You want heroes?
For millions of kids, the hug they get from a teacher is the
only hug they will get that day because the nation is living
through the worst parenting in history.

An Argyle, Texas kindergarten teacher hugs her little 5 and 6
year-olds so much that both the boys and the girls run up and
hug her when they see her in the hall, at the football games,
or in the malls years later.

A Michigan principal moved me to tears with the story of her
attempt to rescue a badly abused little boy who doted on a
stuffed animal on her desk ... one that said "I love you!" He
said he'd never been told that at home. This is a constant in
today's society ... two million unwanted, unloved, abused
children in the public schools, the only institution that takes
them all in.

You want heroes?
Visit any special education class and watch the miracle of
personal interaction, a job so difficult that fellow teachers
are awed by the dedication they witness. There is a sentence
from an unnamed source which says: "We have been so eager to
give our children what we didn't have that we have neglected to
give them what we did have."

What is it that our kids really need? What do they really want?

Math, science, history and social studies are important, but
children need love, confidence, encouragement, someone to talk
to, someone to listen, standards to live by. Teachers provide
upright examples, the faith and assurance of responsible

You want heroes?
Then go down to your local school and see our real live heroes
the ones changing lives for the better each and every day!
Now, pass this on to someone you know who's a teacher, or to
someone who should thank a teacher today. I'd like to see this
sent to all those who cut down the importance of teachers. They
have no idea who a public school teacher is or what they do.