professornana (professornana) wrote,

Rewarded for loyalty

I have been a road warrior of late. Different cities, different conferences. There were days when I was not sure of the day of the week or the city I was in at the time. It can be exhausting. However, there are some wonderful aspects of all this travel. I am thrilled to be asked to speak somewhere, happy to visit new places, pleased ghat I might still have something new to offer after 40+ years of teaching. There is a side benefit, too. Since I tend to fly the same airline and stay at the same chain of hotels, I have earned "elite" status. Upgrades, extras, service with a smile: there are not too shabby for a weary warrior of the road.

However, after watching some of the speakers at the political conferences of late, I feel as though I am in "The Princess Bride."

Apparently, elite means I live in an ivory tower; I am an egghead; I contribute nothing to society. And, of course, I am to blame for the woeful state of public education. I beg to differ. I do not consider myself "a select part of a group that is superior to the rest in terms of ability or qualities." I certainly do not have wealth and status awarded me as a result of being in education all this time. What I DO have is a sense of purpose and a sense of urgency.

As I near the final years as an educator (is there a line about old teachers like there is about old soldiers, I wonder?), I am still filled with the passion I had 40 years ago, but it is tempered with a much deeper well of knowledge and experience now). I am still discovering new ideas and approaches (the Marantz Picturebook Symposium, the Scholastic Reading Summit, and the Teacher Tour at Heinemann all contributed some big AHA moments). And I am so looking forward to spending two days with educators in the Rio Grande Valley next week with Karin Perry. Those are the perks for being "elite" as far as I am concerned.

Who wants to join me up here in the rarefied air of elitism?
Tags: elitism, politics

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