Education faces a crisis in that the public’s regard as a whole for teachers is ambiguous. Teaching as a profession would not seem to possess the prestige of other professions such as engineering, law, finance, or medicine.
Teachers in public education receive questionable criticism due to the public’s regard of education as an expense, rather than an investment. Indeed, teachers’ unions have cast a haze over the scene, as their vigorous representation of educators has at times invited misunderstanding of the profession.
For all of this, teaching remains a profoundly dignified and noble profession at heart. As our society has changed and the work becomes ever more confusing and conflicted, as the remuneration lags behind that of other professions, as colleagues draw together to stave off disaffection, the most devoted teachers demonstrate all the more their intrinsic drive to help children find a path. The best teachers relate far more than content; they impart humanity.
In the very imperfection of our world lie contrasting pockets of order and clarity. So it holds with our institutions and professions. Trying times define us, and we work by each other’s light.
A building rises from a township’s powers,
And children file in at each day’s light.
Their masters lead them through deliberate hours,
Then homes rebound as families reunite.
The mothers rise to bear their burdens forth;
The fathers reach out arms to draw them back;
Town elders chart the course magnetic north;
The world looms by to threaten daily wrack.
But still the edifice abounds with hope–
With many masters, many sound designs.
Each elegant in substance, scheme and scope,
And each as every other undermines.
Sublimely distant seem our ideal stars,
And never perfect spins this world of ours.