In an Ole Seagull’s opinion, “Absolutely!” It is inconceivable to him that there is even a discussion of sending children back into the classroom without providing our “essential” teachers the opportunity to be vaccinated on a priority basis, and here’s why.
COVID-19 or no COVID-19, America’s destiny is not in the hands of presidents, politicians, lawyers, doctors, accountants, and other leaders. It’s in the hands of the professionals preparing those who will become the future presidents, politicians, lawyers, doctors, accountants, and other leaders, Her Teachers!
In its simplest terms, a “teacher” is “one who teaches.” However, the real “Teacher” embraces and accepts the challenge and responsibility of preparing America’s next generation to realize their potential and equipping them to fulfill it. In their hands rests the hope for America’s destiny!
There are those with the title of “teacher.” They do the minimum without a personal commitment to their students or accepting the responsibility or accountability for their results. They are “teachers” in name only.
The real “Teacher” has a personal commitment to their students. One that goes beyond the rote Teaching of the necessary information and skills their students will need. One that makes learning an experience their students will want to continue for the rest of their lives. They fully realize and appreciate that “how” they do what they do is as important as “what” they do.
Actual “Teaching” resembles an art form. It takes the same passion and dedication that an entertainer needs for their performance to win over their audience. Although the professional entertainer wants to reach every member of their audience, they can still be very successful if they only reach a substantial part of it. A Teacher, however, does not have that luxury.
For them, success and failure show in the eyes, minds, and hearts of each student. The Master Teacher said it best. “If any man has a hundred sheep and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying?” He was not willing to lose even one.
The Teacher’s heart and spirit transcend mere “mechanics and basics.” They go to the concern and commitment of dedicating themselves to their students and their personal ability to learn and apply what is being taught effectively. It’s a task that, in many cases, is made more difficult by influences outside of the Teacher’s direct control. These include physical or mental challenges of individual students, school funding, child abuse, dysfunctional families, and COVID-19, to mention a few. Fortunately, despite these additional challenges for America and Her children, many feel a calling to become, in the most real sense of the word, “Teachers.”
Where then is the “greatness” of Teaching? It is, obviously, not based on factors such as wealth, title, or power. Yet, it is “greatness” in the most real sense of the word. “Greatness” based on the character, honor, generosity, dedication, and commitment of those who are real Teachers and the quest they have chosen, “preparing our children for the rest of their tomorrows.” There’s not much that is greater or more important than that, not much at all.
Isn’t that “essential” and, at the least, worthy of giving our teachers priority COVID-19 vaccines before sending our children back into their classroom?