Teachers

I come from a long line of teachers. Both of my parents are currently teachers, at least part time, one of my grandmothers and both of my aunts were teachers until they retired and my family tree, on both sides, is littered with teachers of all varieties as far back as I can trace them.

Having so many teachers means I know what they go through. Listening to my mother talk about teaching middle school is akin to listening to grandfather talk about his days in World War II. It's a string of horror stories as she tries to weed through the unsafe environment, uncontrollable students and various occupational hazards in hopes of reaching the few kids that want to learn.

However, as a former student, I know exactly how much good teachers can do. Teachers can inspire students to do great things, to take charge of their lives, to reach for new heights and explore new worlds. Teachers, good teachers, can change lives and open minds and that's a position of power that few others in the world hold.

Indeed, when I look back at the teachers that changed my life, I notice, almost universally, that I learned almost nothing in their classes. Instead, they inspired me to learn for myself, to read books I never would have read, to explore ideas I never would have thought and to do things I never would have tried.

If it hadn't been for a journalism teacher, I never would have taken up writing. If it hadn't been for an English teacher, I never would have started writing poetry. If it hadn't been for a computer science teacher, I never would have studied HTML or graphic design. Finally, if it hadn't been for an English AP teacher in high school, I know I never would have had the courage to put all of the above together and form Raven's Rants. Never in a million years.

All of those teachers deserve as much credit for this site as I do. They dedicated their lives, earning meager pay and benefits, to fight through ungrateful students, hostile parents, restrictive legislation, a dangerous workplace and increasing overcrowding just to reach me and students like me. Though I have no idea why they faced such harsh realities to help me, I'm eternally grateful for it.

Of course, the truth is that I know exactly why they braved the Hell that is public education. It's the same reason I'm considering it now. Some people, for reasons unclear, have teaching in their blood. Perhaps it's hereditary, perhaps it's a personality disposition, but some people long for the connection, the presence and the job, as dirty as it is, and don't feel complete without it.

And that, as crazy as it sounds, is how I feel right now. Kept awake at night wondering if I should, perhaps, consider going back to the classroom, this time as a teacher. It's tempting, despite my harsh experience with high school the first time, the brutal nature of the job and the intense schooling required to quality, it still tempts me and calls me.

To me, it's like a dream made not of gold or jewels, but out of other dreams, dreams I helped inspire and make a reality. The thought of it makes me feel oddly complete, despite the hardships, and the mere mention of it is more than enough to send my mind down new and exciting trails.

But for the meantime, all I can do is tip my hat to the teachers of the world, not just those who inspired me, but to those inspiring students all across the four corners of the world.

To you, I say that you are truly the keepers of our future and that, even though others think you are crazy for withstanding all that you do, I understand. Perhaps someday I'll join your ranks, perhaps not. But either way, you have my eternal respect and gratitude.

For even though it's not much, especially for the burden you bear, it's all that I, or anyone else can offer.

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14 Responses to Teachers

  1. Meikou says:

    I agree with you. Even if we don't learn from them, they inspire us. If you would be so kind as to let me, I would like to show this rant to some of my teachers.

    Thanks Meikou

  2. Bran. says:

    If it weren't for a certain journalism teacher at my own high school, I never would have understood how writing and life could mix so well…

  3. where_am_i? says:

    Im assuming that the teachers you have come in contact with were all of a very rare breed. Every teacher i've ever come in contact with has beaten down the imagination and tried to replace it with their views. The teachers of my school tell us what to read, how to write, and what to think. here there is no expansion, no preperation for reality, just this bliss of not knowing anything about anything. If this is truely your path i really do hope you hold true and tell people the way it is. shading the truth is the worst thing a teacher can do. Please, whatever you do, be a real teacher, not somthing like the drones i have to deal with.

  4. Spectre says:

    Raven,

    If it weren't for my Comp I, II teacher I never would have started writing poems.

    If it weren't for my stocks and bonds teacher I never would have learned to invest money.

    If it weren't for my law teacher I never would have learned how to hunt and destroy evil.

    If it weren't for my history teachers, I never would have made it through Junior and Senior High.

    If it weren't for my science teacher, thank god for her and her assistant, I never would have learned about the evils of drugs and sex and while my friends, who were being sucked in dropped dead around me, I made it out alive.

    If it weren't for my firefighter teachers and Medic teachers, I never would have learned how to save lives.

    Finally, if it wasn't for my accounting teacher, I never would have started my own Businesses.

    Raven,

    Never give up and never give in. Never let fear stand in your way or destroy your dreams. You want to teach, then teach go forward and make a difference in this sometime darken dungeon we call a world. When I was growing up in Miami, my teachers braved gunfire, bullets, death and drug-dealers not for themselves but for the kids they taught, because they cared for and loved the kids they taught. They made a huge monumental impact on my life, which I pass on to my children now.
    Teach, learn from teaching and teach again. Kids are our future and our life, when all else fails, let us never give up on the children.

    Spectre

  5. Andrew says:

    "Those who are taught to memorize the world as it is, will never create the world as it might be"
    – Sign hanging in my math class

    With a brief nod to what Spectre said earlier, my band teacher taught me how to love music and how to work hard to achieve my dreams. I think you would make a fine teacher, though I am curious as to which subjects you would teach.

  6. Hughgo says:

    Yes I do know what you mean, if it had not been for Mr. Jhon Dubose I would never of though that I could be a leader, With out Mr. Young I would never I understood math, she gave me the tools I needed to suceed in it, and no I have had no teachers that have tought me good grammer but I am going to take 2 classes next year so i can write better. And Dr. Ron Ashley taught me that I can do anything I set my mind to and know I run a studio at High School and have a office for my show. So w/o teachers I would not be where I am now! Plain and simple. I am going to have my mom read this I think she will like it she is a teacher too and soon in about 4 yr's I may be joining those rankes of teachers as a Tv production teacher. and I may say and I know many have told you this but you would be a good teacher if you have the right students I would be honered to be taught by you.

  7. katie says:

    well, i for one am glad that you had a great english teacher. because they inspired you to write your poetry. and too be honest your poetry and stories inspire me. your rants are really great to read aswell! i am probably your biggest fan!!

  8. Maggie says:

    If it weren't for my 7th grade science teacher, I would have never learned how to save lives, to appreciate all types of art, and to face the reality that their isn't always good in the world (diease, war, etc.).
    If it wasn't for Ms. Hail, I would have never had given a new friend the time of day because of his mental disabilaties.
    If it wasn't for my 1st grade math teacher, I would have never discovered my love of numbers.
    If it was for my 6th grade teacher I would have never brought Shakespeare to class and learned the hard truth, teacher don't like it when you surpass them.
    And finally my fave teacher, my parents. Dad for polictics. Mom for everything inbetween.
    Awesome rant.

  9. Daria says:

    If it weren't for my 3rd grade tearcher I don't know where i would be… if it weren't for her understanding my breakdowns into tears in the middle of class at the memmory of the night before, and if it weren't for her encouraging words to keep going i may have given up on everything. Even to this day when I'm breaking completely my grades are falling and nothing seems important anymore she can open my eyes just in time for me to fix everything.

    If it ween't for my chorus teacher I wouldn't have as strong of a want to get out of this city as i do

    If it weren't for my english teacher i wouldn't feel as confident about my work… if it wasn't for her always checking my tests first so she could again tell me i got all of the uestions right or only one wrong before the class was over to try and lift me from my depessive state at the moment, i wouldn't last through out the day. Her complement on the last essay of the year and her insistance that i not over look the fact that she thought i was writting a collage level paper in 7th grade I probally wouldn't believe the essay to be any good, and I wouldn't feel as encouraged to go through with my plans for the future…

    So i guess my point is that teachers have madea a great ipact on my life, and I've always felt bad for the way they are treated… If you became a teacher I'm sure you would be the best thing to happen to some of your students in their whole lifes, i hope if you decide to go down that path that it works out for you.

  10. Silent_Voice says:

    Sorry, I didn't read all that you wrote but not all teachers have it bad. Some actually love their job. One teacher told the class last year is that the reasons why people become teachers is not for the money but because they are driven by compassion, anger, determination, and satifaction of teaching students something that they'll use in life. Rather if it's learning how to find your grade point average using math or just giving advice. There are things students learn that they'll use in life.

  11. Hells_Grace says:

    I can't really say I like any of my teachers there all Catholic and I seem to offend them by walking into there classes. My english teacher thinks my poems are to morbid to send to the examiners and my art teacher thinks that my art is to Dark/Creepy/Spookey to put up around the school like all the other kids work. I know that teachers have it hard with kids but what I don't see is why they single me out for being 'Gothic'.

  12. Lorna says:

    Wow i never even thought of it like that. You have inspired me and i thank you for that. I hate science lessons and don't really learn alot about science but i've learnt alot about other stuff that he has taken the time to explain and then continue teaching. Small stories that he tells do have meaning and we all remember and learn things from them. Fantastic rant.

  13. pamela gordon says:

    why do teachers treat some kids so bad?my child is being treated like drit by her school.what can I do?

  14. tammyjeanne says:

    I had both good and bad teachers in school.
    Those I found to be the best were the ones who truly wanted you to know what they knew.
    Not to impress you or to fill your brain with their thoughts but to share their enthuiasm for the subject.
    I'm not sure it would be a good idea to show up entirely dressed in black for the first interview though.

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