As educators all over the country ready for another school year, we are undoubtedly contemplating our role as a teacher, advocate, and role model for our kids. Here is a keynote speech from a young man just ten years old who asks the question, “Do you believe in your students?” You’ve got to see this!
As teachers ready themselves for the start of another school year, it seems appropriate to spend some time reflecting on professional responsibilities. Usually I read the list of responsibilities for teachers published by the National Popular Education Board in 1872. It’s amusing to see how much things have changed in the last one hundred and forty years. Here’s the list:
- Teachers each day will fill lamps, clean chimneys.
- Each teacher will bring a bucket of water and a scuttle of coal for the day’s session.
- Make your pens carefully. You may whittle nibs to the individual taste of the pupils.
- Men teachers may take one evening each week for courting purposes, or two evenings a week if they go to church regularly.
- After ten hours in school, the teachers may spend the remaining time reading the Bible or other good books.
- Women teachers who marry or engage in unseemly conduct will be dismissed.
- Every teacher should lay aside from each pay a goodly sum of his earnings for his benefit during his declining years so that he will not become a burden on society.
- Any teacher who smokes, uses liquor in any form, frequents pool or public halls, or gets shaved in a barber shop will give good reason to suspect his worth, intention, integrity and honesty.
- The teacher who performs his labor faithfully and without fault for five years will be given an increase of twenty-five cents per week in his pay, providing the Board of Education approves.
I feel so honored to receive this letter from the University of Southern Mississippi, which has added a copy of my second book, Chalkboard Heroes, to its library collection:
There are many fine examples of talented teachers who have also excelled in the political arena. One such example is Stacey K. Guerin, an elected member of the House of Representatives for the state of Maine.
Stacey was borne in Kenduskeag, Maine. As a teenager, she attended Central High School in East Corinth, Maine. After she graduated in 1977, she earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Maine, and worked for a time as a teacher.
Running on the Republican ticket, Stacey was elected to the House in 2010 representing District 102. As part of her work in the House, she has sponsored a bill to establish a teacher appreciation day, to found an access to justice day, and to require background checks for child care facilities and providers. She also serves as a member of the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee and the Judiciary Committee. She is also a member of the Maine School Nutrition Association, the Maine Restaurant Association, and the Greater Banger Area Chamber of Commerce. She has also been active in 4-H.
Stacey currently lives in Glenburg, Maine, with her husband, Joseph, and their five children. The couple owns the RM Flagg Food Service Equipment Company.
Before you go back to school this fall, view this fabulous two-minute YouTube video entitled “Great Teachers Inspire.”