- This blog was written by Becky Allen, Center for Professional Development
“Hi, I’m a teacher…”
In the fall of 1993 I began a part time student job in the Professional Development office at FPU. It did not take long to anticipate the response of “Hi, I’m a teacher…” after giving a salutation of “Professional Development, how may I help you?” It became almost comical, not in making fun of teachers in any way (well, ok maybe sort of) but simply as a means of 20-year-old college students finding humor and giggling in the daily task of responding to many, many, MANY phone calls from people in the same profession: teaching.
I didn’t realize at the time how much I was learning the value and importance of the Golden Rule: treat others as you want to be treated. While these phone calls may be from those in the same profession, often with the same needs, each person’s needs felt personal and individual to them. The same way my needs feel to me, right?
This part time job in 1993 served as a foreshadowing of my next 20 years. Since then the teaching profession has somehow become my life. No – I am not a classroom teacher. But I am married to one. I have experienced a combination of 14 classroom teachers with my kids at school. Both my sister and sister-in-law are teachers. I have heard more teacher stories than I probably need to. In addition, I have been blessed to continue my employment in the Professional Development office at FPU, which serves thousands of educators nationwide and beyond. The teacher life is my life.
I have watched parents behave with unreasonable (outrageous is more like it) responses toward my husband, and so have tried to be careful to give the benefit of the doubt when working with one of my children’s teachers. I have witnessed my kids be so excited by certain classroom activities, and so later when communicating with a PD student I am reminded to try to take care of their needs personally and individually, knowing they are one who can potentially make a child so excited about learning. I have communicated with PD students who need the operational / paperwork clarification in order to meet that deadline with their district. That deadline could mean a move on the salary schedule, so I can be quite genuine when I respond by saying “I understand how important that is to you.”
It is now summer break, when I get to watch my husband become human again and my kids begin to behave like the kids we thought we had before the school playground “rubbed off all over them”. It is also the time of year when the Professional Development office is the busiest, helping teachers with their courses and workshops over summer break. I find every area of my life intertwined with one another due to the teaching profession, and I’ve been taught the best rule to follow in life – The Golden Rule.
It’s all intertwined…The Golden Rule