Monday, May 4, 2015

 "The Weight of the Wall" Teachers.  Do we take these people for granted?  Do we over-criticize them with our so-called "learned" opinion when it comes to our children?  The answers to those questions are for each of us as individuals to make to ourselves in a private setting.

A person usually knows what they are signing up for when they accept the position of a teacher - at any level.  There are many items to ponder before agreeing to do that job.  There may also be some instances that are not specifically outlined in the job description the teacher is accepting as well.

They have to ponder low wages, many hours of work, oversize classrooms, non-attentive students, in some cases, guns, drugs, low morality among those students, delinquency, disrespect, administrative demands, demands of parents.

They also ponder the  opportunities to "help" children/students/parents/people.  They ponder the chance to work with a child/student and improve them in a particular subject or academic area.  They think about the possibility to help a child/student in their life. 

And then, they may be called upon to do something else during the course of a split second.

Last week the strongest category tornado (EF 5) touched down in Moore, Oklahoma wreaking devastation a mile wide and seventeen miles long.  It was just approximately 14 years since a similar tornado touched down and wreaked devastation in the very same town.

Fourteen years ago when I was working for the Dallas Mavericks NBA Franchise, I was traveling and away from home which is so commonplace for a person in the sports and entertainment business.  I do not remember where I was, but I surely remember sitting in my hotel room in front of the television watching The Weather Channel, at the same time being on the phone with my wife Maritta who was hunkered down under a mattress with our two daughters, Andrea and Sarah, in the "safety room" constructed specifically in the center of the house under the staircase.  They were in Edmond, Oklahoma.  I was watching The Weather Channel showing spikes of golden flashes on the screen depicting lightning strikes and possible tornado touchdowns around the area of Edmond and North Oklahoma City.  It looked like I was watching a science fiction space movie.

Then came the report:  A category   EF 4 Tornado had touched down and was heading directly for Edmond.  I was helpless and I was of no help.  For some reason explainable only by meteorologists and weather scientists the tornado turned left and struck in the area of Guthrie, Oklahoma bypassing Edmond.  I was saddened for the people of Guthrie and happy at the same time for the safety of my family.  At that moment the quiet came after the storm.

The very next day mu children got on the schoolbus and went to their schools.  The teachers and administrators decided to practice their emergency measures once again to be sure they would be prepared for the worst.  the same way the administrators and teachers in Moore, Oklahoma have done time and time again.  Although this time in 2013, they lost 27 people and had hundreds injured.

The teachers in Moore stayed calm and pulled debris over their bodies as they laid over the children protecting them underneath them.

Did the teacher's job description state that if the worst category EF 5 Tornado came through the school that they were required to quickly cover themselves with debris so that they could protect the children lying their beneath them.  No, it did not.  it did not have to.  These teachers automatically sacrificed themselves to protect the children.

Aside from the fact that they stay after school and tutor students.  Aside from the fact that coach's work hard to mesh athletics with academics to create the an all-around learning environment from the student.  Aside from all of what is in their job descriptions perhaps they ought to be compensated a little better.  if anything, for the reason to keep them as teachers and not enticed to take corporate positions for higher pay.  We can't blame these people for leaving the teaching ranks for higher pay.  If teachers are sent into the ranks of developing the lives of our children - the future of our country - should we think of paying them more than what they are making now which is ridiculous.

How much is that teacher in Moore, Oklahoma worth after he or she inspired two students in different subjects and then saved the lives of multiple students all in a days work?  They took on "the weight of the wall."



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