Many people display ribbons folded in a loop, indicating support for a cause. And many of those ribbons say: “Support our Troops.” I suggest that we envision teachers as our front-line soldiers, in the war against ignorance and complacency.
When the nation is engaged in a war, and not winning, no one blames the soldiers, but rather their commanders, who are unable to give adequate direction, or who cannot provide the resources needed. We all know what it feels like to be supported by our supervisors, and we know that our performance improves when we have the right tools. In our education system, administrators, not teachers, should bear the brunt of criticism (and the impact of budget cuts).
Are all teachers effective? No, but neither are all soldiers, or office workers, or corporate executives. Do they always handle our children the way we would like? No, but we might look at the reasons. They may be overworked, poorly trained, or just tired on a given day. Explanations abound, as do solutions. Blame does not accomplish very much.
Just as we wish to support our troops (imperfect as they are), so we should support our teachers. I propose a nationwide campaign, using the now ubiquitous looped ribbons, and stamped “Support our teachers” (the color should be green). Why should waging war be held in greater esteem than raising children?