Sometimes we here at the Quick and the Ed get accused of not giving teachers enough credit for their dedication to their students, hard work, and the excellent results many accomplish. I don’t think that’s true–it’s knowing how hard so many talented teachers work that makes us all the more angry when the system doesn’t support them. This is also a personal matter for me: with a dad who’s a high school principal and sister and brother-in-law both teachers, I see the incredible sacrifices educators make on a day-to-day basis.
Take my sister, Rachel Kurtz. She teaches high school English in Washington County, Maryland. This year she also volunteered to advise her school’s student government. Last week was homecoming week at Rachel’s school. Like many American high schools, homecoming week is also “Spirit Week”–there are different themes for each day and students can earn points for their class by dressing up for the themes. Rachel was disappointed by how few students were dressing up for the themes and how little school spirit they showed, so on Thursday she promised the student body that, if they doubled the number of students in each class who dressed up the next day, she would dye her hair blue. The kids did, and so did she. Here, for your viewing pleasure, are the results.
I know some readers may be skeptical of the educational value of Spirit Week. But this is just the most visible reminder I have of the dedication my sister and countless other teachers show their kids in so many ways that contribute to student learning and better life outcomes for those kids.
I am proud of you, Rachel.