Sometimes Facebook is a bad place for me to be.
I just saw the umpteenth article posted on Facebook about how hard teachers work and how underappreciated we are and how much we have to struggle against and how unfair things are. And yes, that is all true. However, I am sick of reading about it. Because it is the ONLY narrative that we are sharing with the world. While we are trying to send the message that we deserve more respect and we deserve more support and we deserve more control over the decisions we make in our own classroom, we are starting to just come off as whiny. Because yes, we deserve all of these things, but so does every human being on this planet who is working hard to do a little bit of good in this world.
Honestly, I wouldn’t even mind these articles as much if they were mixed in with other kinds of articles written by and about teachers. And no, I am not talking about the teacher bashing articles either, because I could do without those as well.
What I want to read more of, what I wish was going viral on Facebook are articles that show the world all the good we are doing and all the good that our students are doing each and every day in our classrooms. I wish that we wrote more about how we are having deep conversations about texts that help our students to better understand the world we live in. I wish that we wrote more articles about how we are listening to the ideas that our children share and then how we are expertly crafting on the spot lessons to help them to take their ideas and share them with the world in a more effective way. I wish that we wrote more articles about how we are helping children to see themselves reflected in the books that they read so that they feel less alone in the world.
I wish these kinds of articles about teachers were the ones that were plastered all across the walls of Facebook.
I wish we were writing more articles celebrating the incredible work that we get to do and about the incredible children that we get to work with and learn from. I wish we were writing more articles about the families who love their children so much that they are willing to go far out of their ways to ensure their child’s success. I wish we were writing more articles that celebrated the administrators who are fighting valiantly against a world that wants to take power away from teachers. I wish we were writing more articles about the incredible ways that teachers work to support each other in a world that can feel less than supportive.
And I am not naive. I know that all of those negative things exist and that they are real and that they can be exhausting AND I also know that we are so lucky to do the work that we do. And we have a choice to make every day, it’s the same choice that we tell our students they get to make each day. We can choose to see how hard things are and write about those things to make sure the world knows what we are fighting against. Or we can choose to see around those obstacles to the things that we are lucky enough to be able to do and we can write about those things to make sure the world knows about our passions and knows about our expertise and knows just how much we love the work that we do.
I know there will be people who say that we must write about the challenges in order to improve the things that are not best for our children. And I completely agree. I just think that we also owe it to our students to make sure the world knows about all of the incredible things going on in our classrooms as well.
So my hope is that one day I will go on to Facebook and I will see articles flying around that celebrate what we do and celebrate who we are and celebrate all that we know. I don’t think that anyone other than teachers is going to be writing those articles any time, so we better start writing them ourselves. Because the world deserves to know about how great we really are.