Teacher, and Proud of It

Ever since I saw this tweet, I’ve been mulling over what I think about changing the name of teacher to learning engineer.

In short? I think it’s lame.

In education, so many buzzwords come and go, with little to show for it. And I think “updating the job title” is a waste of time.

What I know for a fact (because I am a classroom teacher, and I’ve been doing this job for 24 years) is that teachers wear a lot of hats. A lot. We have always been more than what the title teacher suggests. We not only impart knowledge; we guide our students to their own discoveries. We encourage students when they struggle; we hug them when they are sad. We are the morning greeters, and the ones who wave to them as they leave campus at the end of the day. We have snacks for those who are hungry, and money for those who need the occasional bus fare. We provide food, gift cards, and items for families in need, and we provide a sympathetic ear when parents are up to their wits end with their child. We are designers, planners, assessors, and participants. We come early in the morning, stay late after school, and, more often than not, we are fielding emails from students in the evenings and on the weekends. We decorate our classrooms to give students a warm and welcome place to learn; we spend time putting together our thoughts for student awards. We prepare our classrooms for Back to School Night; we put on a happy face during Open House (even though we’ve been up since 5AM in the morning). We attend workshops and conferences to help us grow as practitioners, with many of us taking the next step by earning an advanced degree. A degree, mind you, that is paid for by our own hard-earned money and earned while also working full-time in the classroom and balancing a busy family life.

I don’t need nor want accolades for what I do. I didn’t write that long list so that people would feel sorry for me or think that I’m some kind of hero.

I’m not a hero.

I do all of that because I am a teacher.

Not sure how the title learning engineer even comes close.

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