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Here’s a “joke” I found in my email the other day:

Q: What do you call a person who keeps talking when no one is interested?
A: A teacher.

I know this was meant to be in fun, but call me humorless. In a profession whose members are not typically regarded as “professional,” we really don’t need to be perpetuating stereotypes. Instead, we should be promoting each others’ expertise, building our leadership capacities, and recruiting the best and the brightest to fill the vacancies left by those who leave the classrooms.
Yes, there are always the few who count the days until retirement or resist change and perpetuate the “sort and select” classroom of the early 20th century. Every profession has members that make poor choices. Call it malpractice, if you will. I would hazard to say, however, that the vast majority of teachers are sincere in their attempt to change the world (because that is what we do on a daily basis). When we sing with our students, read aloud a piece of literature that moves us, guide fingers and minds to the web to research current events, and have conversations that empower students to take action, we toss a pebble into that proverbial pond.

At any rate, I apologize for the rant. And we cannot object to something without providing what we deem to be an acceptable alternative. I propose that when we receive such well-intentioned email “jokes,” that rather than forwarding them mindlessly, we replace them with cartoons and images that empower educators. Here are just a few taken from Susan Ohanian’s Cartoon Collection to get you started.

Happy forwarding…

June 2017
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