San Diego, CA, April 30, 2008 --(PR.com
)-- Just in time for Teacher Appreciation Day, the May 2008 issue of the Teachers.Net Gazette web magazine http://teachers.net/gazette/MAY08 celebrates teachers and teaching with a fascinating collection of articles, essays, reflections and teacher surveys. Readers will find compelling, original writing that reveals and recognizes the trials, tribulations, humor and angst experienced by today's educators.
The cover article, "Only a School, Only a Teacher," offered up by school principal Todd Nelson, grabs the heart of anyone who understands the call to teach. "Teaching is still men and women brave enough to guide nascent intellectuals, artists, athletes, mechanics, computer geeks, and musicians," says Nelson, continuing with the reminder that today's teachers "accept an implied call to step in and show wisdom, candor, honesty and durability when they are wont to be found elsewhere."
Nelson, whose insightful writing has appeared in the Christian Science Monitor and many other publications, continues, "Now that I am a school leader, I feel charged to ensure that this dream of a better world imbues my school’s life. Parents should know that the importance of good teachers has never been greater; the importance of telling good teachers that they are good, essential.
One of several "Candles of Inspiration" quotes a self-proclaimed "burnt out" teacher who posted on a Teachers.Net forum an anguished appeal for support, asking. "Is teaching like falling in love, where you go in with expectations of the other side and slowly you come to realize, 'What was I thinking?' as you run in the other direction? Maybe some people just click with the job, and some don't?"
The powerful and poetic response by a teacher colleague begins, "I think it's more like diamond mining. You start with a little scratch on the surface wondering if you've made the right decision to dig here." The respondent continues, crafting a moving and convincing, multi-faceted case to keep digging… because the rewards are great.
There are additional "candles" on the page, including "A Vent" by a third grade teacher, and comments by author/illustrator Eric Carle noting the power of teachers.
In "Teacher Appreciation Day - Not Nearly Enough," former National Middle Level Teacher of the Year Alan Haskvitz takes a cynical look at teacher recognition that takes the form of one week named Teacher Appreciation.
"Ah, yes, Teacher Appreciation Week. That is when the entire country allegedly comes together to celebrate those individuals who have preserved and continue to inculcate the values of society and the richness of learning, into the youth of America. Just because it coincides with the mandated testing required by NCLB and the pressures of making sure every student is prepared for life - I mean, the test - is probably just a glitch in the government’s calendar allocation week department."
The monthly "Collective Wisdom" section elicits comments on the question, "What Is It About Teaching That Keeps You Going?" Teachers bare their souls to explain what keeps them going in spite the challenges they face on the job.
Bill Page, author of At-Risk Students, offers "Two Teachers, Two Philosophies, One Result," mixing a memoir with a measure of peppery insight, gained during his 50-plus years as an educator, to conclude, "Good teachers are the ones who genuinely care about kids. Whether teachers show their caring by a kind of strictness that some kids call 'mean,' whether teachers show concern by a willingness to stray from the lesson, or whether by a warm friendliness, caring is the single most important element in the teaching-learning process."
Perhaps the most surprising comments among those in the May issue of the Teachers.Net Gazette are those collected when teachers were asked, "Is a school only as good as the teachers in it?" Responses range from " I hate when people say that" to "You hate the truth?" and "... the problem I see is that all responsibility is placed on the teachers and no one else."
Readers clicking through the webzine in search of additional material fitting the theme of Teacher Appreciation will find pages devoted to teachers remembering their best teachers, a list displaying the attributes of a truly effective teacher, an essay explaining why "I Choose Teaching," and a page full of Teacher Appreciation Day gifts and acknowledgments that stand out in the memories of the teachers honored. Some teachers note how they've endured settings where Teacher Appreciation Day passed without acknowledgement.
The May 2008 Teachers.Net Gazette offerings are compelling reading for the educator, and for members of the public who wish a peek into the hearts and minds of the teachers who are - or should be - honored during the first week of May.
The Teachers.Net Gazette debuted in March 2000. The current issue and all Gazette back issues are available at http://teachers.net/gazette/.