It's the dimension of how important our work is that makes us keep teaching.
"I could say that being a teacher was something that somehow carried me away. My High School already offered the course to become a teacher. But that was something I've already heard that a lot. My mother always repeated: 'teacher, teacher, teacher'. Today I think that I wouldn't know how to do anything else. When a child remembers you after many years, when another child is able to take a step that he or she couldn't before, when you see smiles on the discoveries they made, this is what makes you want to continue. There are little things like, yesterday, a student of mine who has learning disabilities read a whole sentence, a text totally new to him. Only that sentence, that achievement, makes it worth all the sleepless nights, fighting with the printer.
I keep waking up every day because I like it. I like to be a teacher, to prepare lessons, I have a passion for it. I love the feeling of catching myself thinking about all I can do for each one of my students. Today, I see myself doing researches about children, learning theories end up falling behind. We see ourselves investing in the social, the most basic aspects such as whether the child is fed, or how are the conditions of life. But we know that, after all, what matters in the end of the year is if the child has learned. I do everything I can. I already found myself buying bond, taking pencils and other materials from home. All to continue this process. I realize that private school teachers have fewer worries as these. They have other priorities, but I think the dedication is the same.
It is difficult to find spaces to exchange knowledge. I try to participate in thematic conferences, but by self-interest. Many teachers do not get involved with nothing out of the classroom, they run out of spaces where they could discuss their own practices. Especially because there are all these procedures that makes it difficult. All bureaucracies and schedules that hinder attendance at external events. If you are absent in class, it's not a work day, nobody can be there in your place. It is exhausting to be able to go to a conference. When I get there, I feel like I needed it every day, because I can see that I'm not alone in the world, there are a lot of thinking people. But this is a very special situation. If they were more frequent opportunities would be great. But it is always the same person who goes. We are very resistant to change. There is a lot of loneliness in the practice.
I think this is because many teachers do not see themselves as professionals. Teachers need to understand that, first of all, we are employed. We are people trained to carry out a practice, we need to win working conditions so that schools do not become children's deposits or just another place for them to stay. We need to have the respect we deserve. We are not blessed, we are workers.
When you say you're a teacher, many people think that we 'do not work, only gives lessons'. Sounds like teaching young children is something easy. I'm from a different generation. I'm a teacher in any class at any age. I lay as a teacher. You must understand that it is a profession, not a priesthood. I fell like the teachers themselves don't recognize that they are paid to do a job. You can be a thinker, but is a job. We need to identify ourselves with the working parents. The parents also look at us with that "poor thing!" face, because we have this difficulty of locating ourselves in society. It is necessary that the teacher is identified as a worker, so we can get our rights. While this does not happen, we are in this limbo.
To say that you are a professor is no longer synonymous of good status. I think it was in the past. Today, it is more a caring look, a memory from a teacher he or she had one day. Respect is not about my profession, but about this kind of memory. It's just a feeling that we are poor, that we are afraid of the classroom and the students. A person with no emotional control. That image of the master no longer exists. I think the structural issue makes it hard for teachers groups to be autonomy. We are always subject to evaluations that are strange from our reality. We don't have to answer, you have to correspond to that. We just have to conquer a goal that, in most cases, is not ours. We have to prepare the student for that, and much more important things are left out. And that decreased the fluidity in different forms of teaching. You are valued as a teacher poorly if you do not correspond to standards that are far from your practices, and the reality of your community.
For me, the school of the future, decides for itself. We've already had it before. This autonomy to solve our own problems. What motivations will teachers have to create and impprove themselves when all they have to do is take care of a book already finished? This is different from a research professor, who can decide the ways to achieve the goals. I have talked with young teachers, it's all very hard for them. All the things they have learned as important and necessary practices can not be applied, it all depends on evaluations they have to do. It comes down to it.
But if someone wants to be a teacher, if someone is interested, I say 'let's do this!' You have to fight. You must have structure, and want the change. Now if you are not sure, go to work in other areas, because it is an area that can make you sick. The ones who last, stay not for convenience or because of the salary. It is the creativity, the dimension of the importance of their work, which is a huge job."