Why You Shouldn’t Tell a Teacher, “We Need More Teachers Like You”

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First, let me just say to any of my friends who’ve said this to me, don’t feel bad. I know you meant well, and I appreciate the compliment. But now let me speak for teachers everywhere when I tell you why this is NOT what we want to hear.

This statement, although most likely meant as a form of encouragement and flattery, implies something: That most teachers out there are not good. So instead of uplifting us and making us feel good about ourselves and the way we do our profession, this comment reminds us that the general public thinks of teachers as being below average, or below wherever the teacher being “complimented” places his or herself on the implied scale.

And let me tell you, no matter where we put ourselves on that scale, we know for a FACT that there are TONS of teachers who are at that same level with us and even more who exceed it.

We are NOT an exception.

We are NOT a rare breed that needs to be showcased and sought after.

We are NOT the sole exemplary model for what teachers should be while all other teachers are a worthless shame to the profession.

We are NOT an exception.

We ARE the rule.

ALL TEACHERS have to deal with the same problems that range from student behavior to district requirements and expectations to curriculum issues to class sizes to a bunch of things that consume our time to an overwhelming amount of skills we’re asked to cover in an underwhelming amount of time.

We ALL have ups and downs, where one moment we feel like the best teacher ever, and the next moment, maybe even later that same day, we feel like a complete failure.

You see, we don’t need a few teachers to be praised. We need to ALL be praised. We need to be told that you see us. You see our struggles. You see our failures. And yet you are proud of us anyway.

We want to know that you appreciate not just us, but our profession. And that includes everyone in it. Because when the whole body is strong, we are strong.

So…next time you’re tempted to “encourage” a teacher by saying “We need more teachers like you,” try something like this…

“You really remind me how awesome teachers are. Thank you!”

“The work you teachers do is amazing. Thank you!”

“I appreciate you teachers so much. Thank you!”

“What you teachers go through is unreal. Yet you still do it. Thank you!”

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(Note: I know that some of you may have had some bad experiences with teachers and that not every teacher is perfect. That’s true in any profession. I don’t mean this to be a blanket statement, just a general one.)

~ by Dusty Crabtree - Author of Shadow Eyes on May 23, 2019.

2 Responses to “Why You Shouldn’t Tell a Teacher, “We Need More Teachers Like You””

  1. I don’t recall ever saying this to a teacher (but maybe I have). You bring up a great point. Teachers are amazing! Now, enjoy your summer!!!

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