At last! An education-related post!
I've discovered this amazing site for English and language arts teachers.
It's called the English Companion Ning. Check it out. I've already spent far too many hours scrolling through message boards and reading the blogs of members of the site. When I see all of these teachers treating education like the craft it truly is and networking like "true professionals" it fills me with pride.
I put "true professionals" in quotes because I sometimes believe the general population does not believe teachers are "professionals" but rather people who ended up leading a classroom because their other dreams just didn't work out and they weren't good at anything else. Teachers aren't deferred the same level of respect and authority as a doctor, or lawyer, or engineer. I think a lot of that comes down to salary and the ease of which it is to become a practicing member of these professions.
I believe all teachers deserve this level of respect, but I think we would get it if we did the following things:
1. spend more time in school learning how language works, versing ourselves in another language to relate to the changing populations of this county, and completing residencies as doctors do to diagnose learning difficulties, practice education techniques, and assessment methods to ensure our students are reaching their learning goals
2. receive large enough salaries to ensure the financial stresses of our lives outside the classroom do not add to the work-related stresses of our lives within the classroom.