My Fellow Teachers,
Why do you teach? What got you into this crazy profession? What motivates you to keep going? The kids? Your paycheck? Your tenure? Summers off? Is it your desire to see kids achieve and learn and grow and become productive citizens? Do you see it as part of the strength of this nation? Why do you teach?
What if something were getting in the way of all you’re trying to achieve and accomplish with your students? Would you be angry? Would you care? What if it was something or someone you’d always trusted to have your back, to be supportive? And in supporting you, supporting your kids? What if you’ve been lied to on such a scale it means students for generations now have been irreparably harmed, and continue to be harmed? And fellow teachers, if there were a wolf in sheep’s clothing in our educational system, wouldn’t you try to eliminate the wolf? Wouldn’t you protect your kids?
We live in a tragic time where quite literally, we as teachers have to be prepared to take a bullet. Who among us would not fight to the death to save our students from an intruder? This is difficult to take in. Perhaps more difficult to take in, though, is when the intruder comes from within, and is doing harm with hidden agendas. These agendas also cost student lives. In this case, it’s a slow death. Poorly educated students are more likely to drop out of school, have low-paying jobs, be dependent on taxpayers, and draw on a community’s resources rather than contribute to them. This impoverished living and the depression and temptations that come with it are the slow death of our students. Their dreams, their goals, their potential. . . Their spark.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Slowly but surely some of us have figured out who the wolf is. I’m sure you answered the ‘Why do you teach?’ question with, ‘Because I love kids and want to help them learn and grow’. I’ve rarely seen or worked with teachers who didn’t love their students and who wouldn’t take a bullet for them – literal or figurative. That’s why I’m writing to you. We’ve been royally had – by a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I want you to know who the wolf is, because it will take all of us to track it down, show it for what it is, and stop it in its tracks.