A teacher eats lunch while supervising kids at recess. A teacher goes the extra mile to supervise the safe arrival of students in the morning, the polite eating of breakfast and lunch, the loading of buses, and the safe (or not so safe) parking lot procedures at dismissal. S/he shows up before the contract requires, and leaves long after the contract requires, remains at the workplace for family nights, award ceremonies, committee meetings, parent conferences, district meetings, and professional development. A teacher voluntarily attends students' dance recitals, sporting events, etc.
The great majority of teachers in our public schools does the extra because s/he knows s/he is the only adult who will do it for a particular set of kids, s/he is the only adult who can influence a particular group of pupils, and s/he is the only calm adult who can affect the futures of particular students, and, by default, the nation and the world.
There's something to think about the next time a teacher turns criminal or is purposefully lazy: that teacher is in the extreme minority. Almost 100 percent of teachers are in their career to make positive gains for society - not for herself or himself, but for society itself. Should every teacher be held accountable or punished for the discrepancies of a few? Must every teacher be under fire for test scores, naughty kids, or complacent parents? Is it acceptable for a teacher to do his/her best and still receive every bit of the blame for the failure of others?
Friends, as they say, a one-size-fits-all education is not the way to solve the ills of our community, state, or nation. Don't let it happen in Missouri on Amendment 3 on Tuesday, and don't let it happen any more in federal policy. Vote no on A3, and start watching the federal government as it continues to tighten the screws on our schools and our kids.