Updated: Jul 4, 2021
"If you take a look inside You'll see the great things that people do Changing lives day and night" Chronixx
The pandemic has changed our lives. High-fives and handshakes have been replaced with elbow bumps; smiles have disappeared behind masks. This post is not entirely about the pandemic. It's about legends often forgotten until there is a special day on the calendar to acknowledge them.
The legends I want to acknowledge here are teachers. Well, how did they become legends? Think about their contributions to our lives. From kindergarten to high school, we spend 5 days per week for about 9 months every year in their presence. They were surrogate parents to some of us; some kept snacks in their desk drawers for hungry children. Many share in our disappointments as if their own.
Might I add, their roles continue to expand in scope and practice to address student needs? They are psychologists, social workers, disciplinarians, … motivators. Consider what it's like to have a child with potential in a classroom but unmotivated to learn—the effort it takes to motivate that child.
Yes, it's the teacher's job to teach. Many students are dropped off at school, and the rest is left up to the teacher. Teaching goes beyond what's written on blackboards, textbooks, assessments of learning, and lesson planning.
There is the need to connect with the student(s) human to human, setting them on a path to Maslow's self-actualization (reaching full potential). This is a challenge because many students attend school from homes where their basic needs are not met. The school is not ideal for managing these many issues, but yes, you guessed it, teachers are present to bridge a gap.
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
1. Physiological Needs – food, water, shelter, air
2. Safety Needs – security, stability, protection
3. Love/Belonging Needs – friends, family, community
4. Esteem Needs – achievement, confidence, respect, esteem from others, independence
5. Self-Actualization Needs – the realization of our potential, guided by intrinsic value, basic needs are satisfied, and the focus is not basic needs
According to Maslow, human motivation is based on the abovementioned hierarchy of needs. The first four levels are considered deficiency motivation. Self-actualization is growth motivation. If a person's deficiency motivation is satisfied, they are free to pursue growth motivation. When a person's deficiency motivation remains compelling, the person will likely be preoccupied with meeting the unfulfilled need. The idea of growth motivation is possible when all other conditions are satisfied.
When schools reopen, teachers will be there leading the charge preparing children for self-actualization.
The pandemic has made it where learning is transitioned online. Outside of their families, many children are without their primary cheerleaders. Nonetheless, teachers make the adjustment to accommodate their students. Whether the learning is online or in a classroom, the teacher is still significant. Teachers have to be innovative in reaching students. So, if you know a teacher or contact one, make sure to let that teacher know, I see you, and your presence is appreciated.
Stay Naturally Curious
Maslow, A. H. (2014). Toward a psychology of being. Sublime Books.