Friday, December 22, 2006

There is a tendency to disparage our teachers. One particular statement I've heard repeated too many times is that "those who can-do, and those who can't-teach." The idea that teachers are those who are incapable of doing other kinds of work, is of course, nonsense. In fact, there is a high turnover in the teaching profession because it is extremely difficult, and often unrewarding due to our society's failure to give it the respect it deserves. Many professionally trained teachers last as few as three years or less before they realize that their best futures lie in doing work outside their chosen professions. They disprove the statement above by changing careers to do something that provides a better salary and greater self-esteem.

For the next few days, as I take my Christmas break from Clear Spring School, I will be back to my old self for awhile, living the life of a self-employed woodworker. I have a commission to make some cherry cabinets and the holidays will give me a good start. I also hope to keep blogging, but not about what the kids do in Clear Spring School. I want to address the subject of teaching. How do we make teaching more fulfilling? How do we restore teaching as an honorable profession that offers both self-esteem for the teacher and life-long inspiration for his or her students? I have a few ideas. I know that in reality, there are very few reading this blog, but this is a great way for me to get my thoughts together, and there have been a few great responses.

One of the early connections I made through the blog was will Bill Crain, editor of Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice. As a result of being contacted by Bill, an article I wrote on the Wisdom of the Hands is in the Winter 2006 issue. If you are not familiar with Encounter, I would suggest a subscription. Every article in this month's issue points clearly the direction we need to go to restore education in America.

Bear with me for the next few days. There won't be very many great photos, but I hope to share what I feel are a few great ideas, some of which are my own.

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