Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Most Difficult Task for Educators

Let's admit it, as teachers we have really become quite presumptuous. Yes, I am a teacher. I make this statement because I find the attitude creeping into my own heart, and I breathe it from the exhale of my colleagues.
The presumption I am talking about is this belief that we are quiet deserving. By deserving I mean that we believe we have full authority to speak into our job assignments, our wages, and a thousand other topics. Yes I am part of the teachers union.
I completely understand the reason that the union was established, but haven't we gone a bit far? Too often I can sense myself cowering behind the power of a unified front. If I want to be complacent, stoic, and repetitive for the next 25 years, I could assume those roles with little opposition. Are we cheating the next generation?
The reason I am writing this post is because I have done something a bit crazy. I have relinquished some of my power. What would your principal's face look like if tomorrow you walked in and said, "Boss, I am willing to submit to you. You can place me in the job assignment you see most fit." Tell me they wouldn't be stunned.
The crazy thing is, most other jobs, an employee walks into work each day already submitting to the wishes of their boss. The things they ask of you are not danced around or negotiated.
This pattern of thinking did stem from a passage I was reading in the Bible. It was Matthew 8:9, where the Centurion is essentially telling Jesus he can submit to Him, because He recognizes his authority over him.
Check it out for yourself.
What keeps us from surrendering to the leadership in our lives? Do you have leadership over you, you can trust? Do you play it safe because protection allows us to play it safe?
photo credit: Nikhil Kirsh via photo pin cc.


  1. I've missed something...I have been in the Union for 29 years, and I do submit and have submitted to my bosses because I trust them to use my talents for the betterment of the students. This is not a new mindset. I was in business before I became a teacher as a buyer for a major mercantile chain, and I sold copiers as rep for Minolta. This seems to give me a different perspective on the principal-teacher relationship. Most of my friends think as I do and are part of the teachers union. I do know some teachers that feel empowered but that occurs in any job and occupation. I do not disagree with your argument but it is not a new idea. Here is a quote from the bible that I strive mightily to follow as a teacher...Philippians 4:12-13 "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength."

  2. Orlando,
    Your comments and views are most valuable. The reason for my post was not to try to establish some new thought pattern. I am confessing what I find in my own heart and what I recognize in some of those in the teaching field who are around me.
    Let me ask you this, where is your teacher body in terms of budget cuts, furloughs, and contracts? As our teacher body is in the midst of all this, I find a heightened sense to cling to safety and norms.