Teachers, instructors, lecturers, professors, etc. don’t get a lot of respect. It seems like the respect level is at an historic low during this recession. The cuts to the education system, the massive number of pink slips, and the crowding of classrooms makes me feel that we, as a society, are severely undervaluing the teaching and learning process.
I include librarians and archivists in the teaching group. We teach at the reference desk, on the fly, online, and in the classroom. We are just as dedicated to the learning process and we are just as undervalued.
But I hate just complaining about how we are undervalued; I think we all should actually do something about it. I’m not exactly sure what it is, but something has got to change if we are going to continue to have an educated public and dedicated, professional, wonderful educators. I’m definitely not saying that the educational system is perfect, or that it doesn’t need some serious changes. I’m just saying that we need to first decide that we value education and then go forward from that standpoint rather than from the standpoint that teachers just teach because they can’t make it doing anything else.
There are plenty of great talks about education and the need for change over at the TED website. I’m especially enamored of Sir Ken Robinson’s talk on schools killing creativity and Temple Grandin’s talk on how the world needs all kinds of minds.
However, the video that was featured on TED and was the best retort to those who say teachers are fairly worthless is Taylor Mali’s “What Teachers Make”
Go out and change the world, read some good books, and report back. The Waki Librarian will be back soon with some library, technology, and productivity tips.