HERE IS MY WIFE KATHY, REMOTE TEACHING her piano lessons as she has been doing for months. It is a much-appreciated boon of normalcy, structure, and artistic expression for many students and families. It is also hard work, listening to a ‘rinky-tinky’ sound through the iPad or phone, and without the human closeness of regular, personal lessons. But it’s a lot better than no music and no teacher.
This spring countless parents have learned what hard work a day of teaching is—or a week or a month—even with only one or two students at a time. Multiply that by 25 students and 5 or 6 classes a day, and you begin to get an appreciation of the job of TEACHER, particularly public school classroom teacher, which Kathy did for 35 years. And which our daughter-in-law Katharina now does. And you realize that all teachers should be paid about… oh, a million dollars a year. Base. (Piano teachers maybe half that.) Since that is likely to happen when pigs fly and shrimps learn to whistle, may we at least agree that teachers—who are now working harder than ever with distance and remote teaching and reconstructing everything from scratch—deserve a tremendous amount of credit. And appreciation and thanks. And maybe when this is all over we can see an end to the constant right wing-populist attacks on teachers and public education that have been so popular for the last couple of decades. That would be nice, wouldn’t it? And even fair. And smart. And meanwhile, we can work on the million dollars a year.
THANKS, TEACHERS! For all you are, all you do, and all you give of yourselves. Which is pretty darned close to everything you’ve got. You’re some of the best of us. And you ARE appreciated!