Crazy Profession

Our profession is a little bit crazy.

When you hear stories of schools that are so flooded in the spring that carp are swimming in the basement – but the school district can’t convince their community to support improvements.

When legislators are repeatedly–repeatedly–eviscerating school policy at the state and national level, all the while saying it’s improvement.

When beloved teachers retire after decades and their jobs are unceremoniously handed to the nearest person, qualified or not, without a search or serious care given to the legacy they have built.

When teachers give their whole selves to their students and profession, and are met with underhandedness, rumor-mongering, and false accusations.

Every teacher in Michigan will teach an additional week next year (that is, 60 to 80 hours of work in and out of class). The state has budgeted $0 to compensate the teachers for this additional work. Based on past experience, most teachers will see their paychecks stagnate and out-of-pocket expenses increase.

And yet – and yet – the joy is real. The smiles you will see on every teacher’s face on the first day of school in August are real. The exhilaration of seeing students at the moment of truly comprehending an idea is real…and priceless.

All the teachers I know will keep on doing marvelous work in terrible circumstances, will keep on volunteering their time to make sure their students have the experiences they deserve, will keep on doing more with less and helping students to dream bigger dreams.

And I’ll personally keep on encouraging students to pursue careers in music education. With the caveat this our profession is a little bit crazy.