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3 reasons to be kind to educators

By Laura McClure on September 20, 2017 in Interviews, TED-Ed Innovative Educators


Any dedicated educator can tell you: A teaching job extends far beyond the classroom. Molding the minds of future leaders while simultaneously ferrying them across the rapids of childhood and adolescence — and dealing with the economics of the job — is not for the faint of heart. Here are three solid reasons to give teachers the love and support they deserve.

1. Being a teacher can be tough (just about everywhere)

Teachers from around the world often struggle with similar financial issues, no matter their longitude or latitude. Many teach for the love of education and to shape the minds of the coming generations; not for the love of money. ”I took a pay cut to become a teacher. It is a calling, not a job,” says one 6th grade teacher in the TED-Ed community. “The fact is, I wake up each morning excited for what the day holds for my classroom — the challenges as much as the triumphs.” To hear from more teachers around the world about the economics of the job, read this article.

2. Educators don’t just teach, they manage a flurry of feelings

As kids age into their late teens, they simultaneously embark on an emotional journey that often plays out during school hours. Heartbreak, arguments with friends, troubled home life, struggles with mental health and schoolwork, never-before-experienced emotions, and numerous other factors typically crop up during and in-between classes. Without a parent or guardian at hand, it’s left to the teachers and school staff to tend to the emotional well-being of students. The RULER program, which is used in over 1000 schools in the US and abroad, is currently one of the most prominent tools for teaching students these 5 important skills:

Recognizing emotions in oneself and others
Understanding the causes and consequences of emotions
Labeling emotional experiences with an accurate and diverse vocabulary
Expressing and
Regulating emotions in ways that promote growth

Educator Nadia Lopez (TED Talk: Why open a school? To close a prison) has her own tips for dealing with emotions that’ve already begun to bubble over. For her advice on how to dial down conflict with administrators, scholars and staff — applicable in situations far beyond the classroom — read this article.

3. Yes, teachers help kids, but sometimes they need help too

Teachers often spend hundreds of dollars on school supplies over the course of a school year. There are many options that allow parents and other charitable individuals to support classrooms near and far. Organizations like Donors Choose allow any interested party to choose an inspiring project and donate any amount.

Or, you can always take part in chiseling down fees in your own backyard. If you’re interested in doing more, here are some tips from the TED-Ed Innovative Educators on how to help a teacher out, if time and/or resources are available.

Let’s be honest, most people have at least one story about their favorite teacher that’s left a lasting impression, shaped a lifelong interest, or helped them get through a tough time. That educator’s compassion and dedication may have even brought you to where you are now. Love is a main ingredient in what makes those memories stick — one that helped principal Linda Cliatt-Wayman (TED Talk: How to fix a broken school? Lead fearlessly, love hard) successfully turn around three schools.

As she says to her students everyday and a mantra for many educators to their kids:

This article was adapted for TED-Ed from this TED Blog postArt credit: iStock

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Tags: Teachers, Teaching & Education, TED Talks