I read a blog post this morning on The Principal of Change about the importance of school teachers as opposed to classroom teachers. In the post, the author states he believes that classroom teachers are those more concerned with their position and subject matter. I always think of those as the "shut the door and teach" people. They don't worry about the things that happen outside their door.
School teachers, on the other hand, are "focused on the success of the school as a whole". "School teachers are the ones that see kids outside of their classroom and deal with them in good times and bad. They never see a student doing something wrong and simply march them down to the principal’s office. They see, even in mistakes, that an opportunity to talk with a child is an opportunity to build a relationship." (I love the last line)
I am a school teacher. Sometimes I want to be a classroom teacher. I would love to be able to just shut the door and teach, drag a kid to the office when need be, and not worry about their feelings or if they are having a bad day. I want to be able to sit in the lounge and gripe about how ineffective those around me are and feel superior in every way.
But, I am a school teacher. I can't watch a student do something wrong and not say anything to them, but I don't hold it against them for the rest of their lives. I don't believe that my class is the most important thing in their lives, because I take the time to get to know them and find out what is the most important thing in their life. I help students with their homework, even if it isn't for me, because I know they need someone in their life who cares.
I am a school teacher.