Behind the Blog

Behind the Blog
My name is Cindy Kruse and I've been learning from elementary students for the past 16 years. I enjoy discovering new technology and implementing it in the classroom, absolutely love literacy, and am passionate about Responsive Classroom. I am constantly striving to learn new and innovative ways to teach students in order to provide authentic, interesting, and joyful classrooms.


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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Shift in Attitude

With today's current negative climate regarding the teaching profession, I'd be remiss if I didn't take the time to write about what is happening. However, I had to sit for a moment and contemplate - just what are the real issues? Unfortunately, just like any profession, there are those that have chosen this noble profession that just aren't teaching with integrity. However, for every teacher that fits in this category, there are three more that are doing their best to reach all of their students. This is probably true of most professions, so why the current attack against teachers?

Several years ago I had the opportunity to travel to China in order to participate in a cultural exchange which included teaching English in a University in Guilin. After traveling almost 30 hours, the last thing I wanted was to have my picture taken. However, that is just what happened. To make it worse, our pictures were blown up to poster size and displayed on the university square with our occupations listed underneath.

I was totally unprepared for what I experienced next. Students sought me out 24/7. They waited outside my hotel room, accompanied me to dinner, walked me to class, and helped me to navigate the bartering system as I struggled to purchase a simple bottle of water. Why? They wanted to practice "English". Who better than a teacher to teach them, they reasoned. The Chinese people hold teachers in high regard. They realize that the only way to better themselves is through education. They are hungry, even desperate for the chance to better themselves.

Sometimes I wonder what it will take for this kind of hunger for education to happen in the US. We have a great country, no doubt about it, but many Americans (both young and old) operate from a platform of entitlement, believing that they are deserving of things that they have not worked for. What will this attitude of entitlement do to the culture of our country? I think we are currently experiencing the effects of such an attitude.

I believe we need to work together as a nation to solve the conundrum that we are currently faced with. It will not be solved by pointing fingers and blaming others. It is time to recognize that teachers are indeed the very heart of the solution. Yes, there is a need for reform - even teachers agree with this statement. However, isolating the very people we need to accomplish this task works against our struggle for change. We need a shift in attitude - to one of gratitude for teachers. Change will not happen overnight, but here's an idea for a place to begin: I encourage you to take Chip Wood's recent suggestion to send an e-mail or note thanking a teacher, recognizing the impact they have had in the life of a student.