TEACHER VOICE: In tough times for teachers, let’s change the way we talk about our work

At a cookout this summer, after I shared yet another story about teaching, a friend of mine said to me: “I could never be a teacher. I couldn’t do what you do.”

I put a humble face on, but beamed with pride inside. I couldn’t help it. As a teacher, it’s validating to hear someone else recognize how challenging our work can be, especially looking in from the outside.

But admiration of our craft is not enough. I teach middle school in Indiana, and when schools started back up, there were over 2,000 vacant teaching positions across the state. A month in, only a quarter of those spots had been filled.

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