Teaching is a beautiful job; as it allows you to see the growth day by day of people entrusted to your care. It is a little like being parents, at least spiritually. It is a great responsibility. Pope Francis
The Art of Teaching
As Pope Francis left the United States, many were reflecting on his words, his influence, and the wisdom he had left behind. He had commented on everything from immigration to climate change to family relationships.
How appropriate it was that he would also address the teaching profession. Pope Francis did what very few of our politicians and education policymakers have done over the last few years: he recognized the hard work and dedication of American teachers. Instead of being partners in improving and supporting the education system, these people have attempted to degrade and minimize the impact of teachers in the classroom.
I would hope that everyone would take Pope Francis’s words to heart and try to understand what teachers experience on a daily basis. Teaching is not a hobby or something to “keep us busy until we find something better.”
Teaching is what we have chosen to do because we knew we could make a difference. We make a difference in spite of the criticism from people who have never taught or have only taught for very few years. All professions have people who do not do their best or “pull their weight.” Teaching is no different. We should not be judged by those who choose to do less than what is required. We should be judged on our own merit, ability, and tenacity. The percentage of teachers who care and produce based on their caring if far greater than those adults who hold a teaching space.
Thank you, Pope Francis, for acknowledging what Americans in power have refused to acknowledge. American teachers are outstanding at our professions, and we care about the students we teach. Thank you for acknowledging our worth.