Tag Archives: teachers

9/11 Patriot Day, September 11. Never Forget. National day of remembrance.

The Beauty of Camaraderie

“It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.”

― John Joseph Powell, The Secret of Staying in Love

Today is September 11th. As I reflect on another event that took place at the World Trade Center on this tragic day in 2001, I am moved with great compassion for those who lost loved ones, friends, and co-workers. But, I am moved even more by the unselfish love that was shown by firefighters, police, and EMR personnel for people that they did not even know personally. Some of them gave up their lives for complete strangers. It makes you take a mental calculation of those people in your life that are of great value to you and hopefully reaffirms the value of human life in general.

That kind of dedication to your profession is admirable, yet educators also make life-changing sacrifices every day. In our last blog, I talked about the numerous tasks that a teacher has to perform. Well in this post I am bringing attention to the vast number of hours they spend inside and outside of a classroom preparing to teach. These hours are often spent with students, fellow teachers, department heads, and administrators. It stands to reason, as a result, that relationships are formed that make the school day a bit easier and inner classroom woes a little less heavy to bear.

Schools often become their own small cities.  Each school has its own distinctive culture. Teachers, students, administrators, and parents partner to bring the best possible education to the children that have been charged to their care. When that school culture is fostered by positivity and possibility thinking than everyone benefits.

Merriam Webster Dictionary defines camaraderie as “a spirit of friendly good-fellowship.” The school day goes by much faster when you have the assurance that “good fellowship” is at the heart of your school culture. Educators should strive to foster a friendly, caring, school environment, not just for the benefit of the students they serve, but for those that serve along with them.


Assistant  finished lecture and students clapping hands


A mind always employed is always happy.  This is the true secret, the grand recipe, for felicity.  ~Thomas Jefferson

Educators are cultivators of minds. So when a holiday comes around, they have the right and responsibility to celebrate it. Labor Day is the last official holiday before Thanksgiving and well, that’s a long time in between breaks. If school hasn’t opened in your part of the country, it soon will and educators have been as busy as worker bees preparing their classroom for the new school year. Labor Day is a welcomed respite for the modern day teacher.

As Thomas Jefferson mentioned in his quote, they spend quite a bit of time employing the minds of young people. Professional development, lesson plans, parent conferences, student conferences, test preparation, report card preparation, lunch duty, hall monitoring, and certification preparation: the list could go on for the length of this blog. Here’s an actual job description for a 21st Century teacher:

“To plan, organize and implement an appropriate instructional program in a learning environment that guides and encourages students to develop and fulfill their academic potential.

Main Job Tasks and Responsibilities

  • plan, prepare and deliver instructional activities that facilitate active learning experiences
  • develop schemes of work and lesson plans
  • establish and communicate clear objectives for all learning activities
  • prepare classroom for class activities
  • provide a variety of learning materials and resources for use in educational activities
  • identify and select different instructional resources and methods to meet students’ varying needs
  • instruct and monitor students in the use of learning materials and equipment
  • use relevant technology to support instruction
  • observe and evaluate student’s performance and development
  • assign and grade class work, homework, tests and assignments
  • provide appropriate feedback on work
  • encourage and monitor the progress of individual students
  • maintain accurate and complete records of students’ progress and development
  • update all necessary records accurately and completely as required by law, district policies and school regulations
  • prepare required reports on students and activities
  • manage student behavior in the classroom by establishing and enforcing rules and procedures
  • maintain discipline in accordance with the rules and disciplinary systems of the school
  • apply appropriate disciplinary measures where necessary
  • perform certain pastoral duties including student support, counseling students with academic problems and providing student encouragement
  • participate in extracurricular activities such as social activities, sporting activities, clubs and student organizations
  • participate in department and school meetings, parent meetings
  • communicate necessary information regularly to students, colleagues and parents regarding student progress and student needs
  • keep updated with developments in subject area, teaching resources and methods and make relevant changes to instructional plans and activities, etc.”[1]

Whew, you get the point! They also spend quite a bit of time cultivating relationships with people outside of their immediate classroom. For example peers, parents, administrators, community leaders, state educational departments and even the U.S. Department of Education.

So as you can see, when educators get a break, they should really enjoy it because they are some of the hardest working people around. If you happen to see a teacher over the Labor Day Holiday, don’t forget to say “thank you” for their hard work. I know I won’t forget their “labor” of love anytime soon!


[1] http://www.best-job-interview.com/teacher-job-description.html