You may have heard the saying, “It’s like closing the barn door after the horse is out.” We tend to realize how important certain people and things are after they are no longer a part of our lives, whether because of someone’s death, departure or change of job, or the loss of a special trinket or a special memento from a special event. or instant. We seem to realize, too late, how much that person or thing really meant to us, our family, our neighborhood, our outlook on work, or our memory box after those people/things passed away.
There are times when the decisions we make push people away from us, and often the decision that pushes or turns those people away becomes regrettable, as we lose valuable family members, friends or workers. Often family, friends, and/or work relationships fall apart because a person simply doesn’t feel appreciated or supported, or hasn’t answered a direct question with respect and honesty, or sees standards different for others doing the same job, or is looked down upon for respectfully questioning/suggesting something that could be done more productively or efficiently than what is being done. Sadly, some don’t even see that they’ve lost someone who was a major asset in that particular setting.
Focusing on the workplace and using my profession to illustrate my point, as I know best what I have done over the past 47 years, I refer to another adage, recently posted on Facebook by a group called Clever Classroom, which said, “If we hire great teachers, but don’t create environments to retain them, we will continue to fight a losing battle.” I have seen this happen for many years in education.
Often said before and repeated again today, teachers are responsible for all other jobs/professions, whether blue collar, white collar, industrial, construction, retail, financial services, catering, technology, transport, journalism, education, etc. to be the most indisputable and indisputable statement ever made because to get any job there were teachers who did something to help any working person get where they are. In most businesses, if you have dedicated people helping you succeed, within the bounds of professionalism and ethics, you want to hang on to those people. I know I would do my best to keep them. As teachers do, they encourage students to give their best, they stress the importance of seeking perfection in order to achieve excellence.
There are times when students don’t agree with everything teachers do, assign, or expect, but we don’t push them out. We always try to support them and hope that they will eventually learn that what is taught and expected are things they will need to be successful. Educators listen to what students tell them through words and actions. If not quite on the same page, students should still be able to feel what they feel, even when they disagree. The same goes for educators, they must not be discouraged by their ideas, their passion and their “tunnel vision” so that each student achieves to the best of his or her potential and abilities. And just as educators teach students to treat each other fairly, it is equally important that all educators, whether they are in their first five years of service or have more than twenty-five years of experience , are treated fairly with respect to the same standards and protocols to reach and follow in their workplace.
Just as teachers should and do respect their students (and remember teachers don’t hate students, they don’t like certain student behaviors), they also deserve respect. They deserve the respect of students, parents, fellow teachers, administrators and the general public. They should be addressed by students/parents with their title (Mrs. Miss, Mr. Mrs. etc.) and last name, and be respected for what they do. Students should remember that teachers do their job with most rules and regulations imposed by the district, and some by them. Parents should respect the time, personal expenses and work they do, and they too should understand that teachers are doing their job within the rules and standards set by the district, also remembering that it is not NOT an 8 to 3, 180 day job, as some perceive. In addition, many teachers take on other roles in their district, serving on committees, subcommittees, music and drama group activities, mentoring, advising school clubs, and volunteering for many activities in their district. For what teachers do before 8:00 a.m., 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and after 3:00 p.m., and during educational workshops, meetings, etc. they do on weekends, summers etc. some want to believe. And the comment, “It’s the school/teacher’s fault” can also be flushed into the pipes.
People should also consider, and this goes for every job/situation, that rumors and hearsay about someone are just as damaging as the actions/behaviors they may be accused of by those talking about them in/in bars , restaurants, sporting events, etc.
I’m sure you can make a case for any career, profession, job or position, and if you hire people who are good at what they do and are assets to the company, the institution, school district, etc., they should be kept in an environment that you do not want them to leave. We should all try to enjoy now, before we end up regretting later.