Red for Ed…Pretty Mixed Message

If you are a teacher with over 20 years of experience and are a supporter of the Red for Ed movement here in Arizona, may I respectfully ask a few questions.

  1. Do you believe that classroom experience is valuable for colleague that desires a leadership position in the arena of education?
  2. What characteristics do you believe would qualify a credible, and capable spokesperson for the education arena?

As a teacher with 40 years of experience I find it sad that veteran teachers would allow a small minority of pretend educators be the spokespersons of the profession. I offer that the best measure of a qualified educator, the ones that are truly in it “for the children”, if the number of years of sacrificial commitment possessed.

One of the self-proclaimed leaders of the Red for Ed movement has a couple of years of teaching experience as a 5th grade music instructor. How in the world, can a movement expect to garner respect from anyone, when the recognized leader has nothing to offer but a few college theory classes and a recommendation from Bernie Sanders as an average volunteer.

Years and years of commitment, perseverance, integrity and more are what motivates a true teacher.  We all knew going into this work that compensation would never be adequate or even fair.  At the core of every called teacher is a desire to make an impact on children for the betterment of the future.  Only the individual teacher can measure their true motive.  A pretty good indicator is a veteran that goes to work every day regardless of all the limitations because he or she respects the calling, understands the stakes, and cares little about getting any credit or notoriety.

Educators are overworked, underpaid, and unappreciated.  The class sizes are too large, the resources inadequate.  All and more are valid and worth attention.  Has been forever. Education is about the message we send to children.  The message the chosen leaders wish to impart to this generation is that walking out on your responsibility is more important than the responsibility.  A twenty three year old who has no sense of responsibility, no experience in the field, and most assuredly no calling is leading thousands, and they are following.  That’s sad. 

When the students do return.  How do we explain our behavior?  How will it help mold them into the responsible leaders of the future?  Maybe this is the future.

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About Bill Harbeck

Founder and Director of Holding on to Hope Ministries. A non-profit work that helps survivors of childhood sexual abuse unveil their past and begin the healing process. Author of the book Shattered; One Man's Journey from Childhood Sexual Abuse
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