It is quite difficult to find the words “personal promotion” and “teacher” together in a same line. Teachers are mostly humble, idealistic, hardworking people, always ready to help and to give some good advice, full of understanding, support, warmth… but to think about personal promotion … noooo.
In a teachers’ life, personal promotion is limited in nature and limited in scope, restricted to the framework of the school. The highlight of a teachers career, in Croatian terms, is to become a head of a school or an adviser/supervisor in the National Educational Agency. I guess it probably is the same in every country. So what is different about teachers? Why so few of them are promoting their own work? Why through all their “career” they remain humble, quiet hard workers? And why do I think that some kind of personal promotion for teachers is needed at all..?
The answer is primarily for the media. When do we see headlines about teachers on the news? Usually, we just appear in a negative context: Students who have bullied someone, bad exam results or bad evaluations. And there is always a story on the poor state of education / public sector, on cutting wages, pensions… sounds familiar, doesn’t it? I repeat, we rarely see any teachers-related success stories on mainstream media. The work of people who find inspiration to not give up on their students; although institutions (which mainly penalize or make sanctions), society (which can be brutal, always pursuing profit), parents (which they do not have, or who do not have time for their kids), may give up on them. Teachers work with students who grow up without love, without enough attention, without empathy, tolerance, etc.- No one to learn from, no one to show them. Therefore, it is important to promote. It’s important to stand up and say: I am a teacher, I am not ashamed of the work I do every day, I’m proud of it, although poorly paid, even though we are at the bottom of social respect, at the bottom of the social ladder, even though we are probably the last idealists in this depressed world.
It is important to mention that extremely important and beautiful things occur day after day. Every day I am influencing or I am trying to influence the youth, to help them achieve their potentials, and to develop themselves. I am full of patience and understanding for them, waiting patiently for them to learn, and giving them a rating and a mark- which I’m sure it means something more- not only an indicator of current knowledge, but an expression of understanding for their situation. My score is always an incentive for hopes, recognition and an expression of confidence in their features and capabilities.
I am a teacher every day, I am a psychologist for students and parents, for the whole class, and I want everyone to know about it. I’m doing different projects, because I know that they are of benefit for everyone, to acquire knowledge and competence. And I want to see it. I don’t want my work to be kept within the four walls of the classroom, in the school, closed. I want that someone else hears about it. And finally, I want the negative comments to stop and the media to refocus. For the sake of our schools and teachers, I want to hear them speaking in another context, positive and optimistic, because our work is that from day to day, full of optimism and faith in a better tomorrow.
That’s why I think it is extremely important to promote themselves and our work, in every possible way, in the media, on social networks. Because the only way to change the perception of teachers is to understand that these are not people that just keep their kids safe while they are at work. They will realize that these are people who have a great influence on their children, they work a lot with them, invest in them, believe in them- so they should believe in them too, and appreciate their work.
There are exceptions and negative examples, but the exceptions prove the rule- teachers work well, try it, they help with understanding. Being a teacher is not just a job!
Article written by: Bosiljko Derek, Scientix Deputy Ambassador