- Not get sick. Even though they are around 100's of little booger eating, hands in pants, coughing on each other, germ factories every day. What is their secret??
- Exhibit Herculean patience. 30 screaming kids per class, liquefied Coco Puffs running through their bloodstream, body self-discovery happening, issues galore...and they still can sip tea in the lounge without feeling the need to hurl the mug into the wall. Wait, that is tea, isn't it?
- Appreciate the innocence of youth. The future, literally, is a soft, malleable, molten glob of limitless potential sitting at their disposal every day. What an awesome responsibility, and opportunity.
- Tolerate Idiots. Like in any walk of life, there are bottom feeders, and that includes some school kids and the parents that hatched them. Teachers can't say that, but I can. There are some incredible displays of blame and entitlement that go on in those hallways; and where in our adult world we can ignore, cajole or otherwise smack down the 10% (your mileage may vary) that ruin it for the rest of us, teachers find a way to accommodate - and tolerate - everyone. Amazing.
- They give 'numbers'. In our local school, any of a variety of missteps can result in the issuance of a dreaded 'number' in your class journal. They can be for repeatedly forgetting homework, talking during class, being tardy, misusing school supplies, etc. If one accumulates a predetermined total, then bad things start happening like detention, seeing the principal or having a cheese grater rubbed on your forehead and then swabbed with rubbing alcohol. Okay, the last one was made up but you get the picture. In our adult world we don't have such a simple system, which is a shame. As managers, we are often hamstrung by excessively lawyer-ized policies that tends to obscure the core issue. If we took money away from adult workers after they collected enough 'numbers', you can be assured the underlying behavior would stop. Just ask any 3rd grader.
And an honorable mention:
...Teachers give awesome gifts. We were truckin' along and out of nowhere the other teachers at Tonya's school bequeathed us an incredibly generous offering as a welcome gift for Ethan being born. Maybe there is some arm twisting or secret mano-a-mano going on but all I know is that I did not expect such generosity, especially with so many other people that they presumably are accommodating this time of year too.
So, if you have a child, know a child or were a child; they live a life of mostly decent, clean, non-idiotic behavior and they can form basic sentences, then take a moment to thank a teacher for all of the things that they do for us and not do to us.
Do you know a teacher or someone else who might enjoy this little ode? Of course you do! You can hit the email button below and you can fire this post off to the recipients of your choosing.