Happy National Teacher Day Poem by Jim Yerman

Happy National Teacher Day

I've always thought of teaching as an art…and the teacher as an artist whose skills over the years have been amassed…to help them teach their students…each a different canvas making up their class.

Teachers must learn about their students…must learn more than just their name…for every artist knows…no two subjects are the same.

Which means whatever paints, techniques and brush strokes work for one student…as wonderful as that may be…might not work for the next student…who needs to be painted differently.

And so the teacher knowing each new student is a little different than the ones who came before…learns to paint in many different styles…and with each student grows a little more.

But what happens to the students and the teachers…what happens to imagination's and creativity's flame…when teachers are told these are the only paints and brush strokes you may use…and you must paint everyone the same?

I've seen many great teacher/artists over the years leave their art/teaching behind…tired of the constraints…tired of being told which techniques they have to use…which paints.

Teachers are trained to do their jobs…their students they try desperately to reach…
Ask any one of them and they'll tell you…
Keep their class-size low, the discipline consistent and please…please…please…
just let them teach.

For they know when you allow them the freedom to paint with their own imagination…their own creativity…their own heart…not only are they transmitting knowledge…but it is wisdom they impart.

Yes, teachers know the kind of education needed if they want their students to evolve…
They must paint in a way that stirs their imaginations and teaches them to problem solve.

I had one hope when I was a teacher and I know many of my fellow teachers felt the same…that our students would leave our classrooms…happy…and a little wiser than when they came.

So one way to celebrate National Teacher Day would be to allow them to teach without restraints…
to allow them the joy any artist wants….the independence and the freedom just to paint.

And to understand if teaching is…and it is…one of the most important jobs on Earth…
Perhaps it's time to start to pay our teachers exactly what they're worth.

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