Carrie Bloom was used to being a star, it came with the territory. Like others in her profession, her stardom hadn’t diminished over time, if anything, it actually had increased. The truth was, she had always appreciated the perks, it was a reminder to her that what she did was important. It had been her husband, many years ago at the beginning of her career, that had taken a while to come around.
“I’m not saying what you do isn’t important, honestly.” He had said that evening twenty years ago, “I just think I deserve a little more credit that’s all.” And he’d had good reason. Starting his career too, he’d been voted rookie of the year for the New York Yankees. A million dollar signing bonus, thousands of fans coming to games every day hoping to see him hit a homerun, pining for his autograph. A guy of his prestige isn’t used to being out shined by his wife, but without fail, every time they went out together, he felt like chopped liver.
“I love your work Mrs. Bloom!” The people would say. “Thank you so much for what you’ve given to the city, there’s no way we could ever repay you.” But that didn’t stop them from trying. Her husband rarely had the chance to pay for a meal, the chef or manager always coming to their table declaring the meal was “on the house” and spending a few minutes praising Carrie for her work.
It was odd to imagine a time, just a few years before Carrie had started her career, when men and women in her profession weren’t treated with the respect and reverence she’d come to take for granted. They pay had certainly increased, but it was the honor and accolades for the work that she did that she really valued and appreciated. You can only give yourself so many peptalks before you start to question the real value you have to society when your work is rarely acknowledge and, more often then not, blamed instead for societal problems.
“I want to teach third grade.” Carrie had told her parents at Thanksgiving her first year of college. Her father, an extremely successful lawyer, had been unimpressed. It had been her mother that encouraged her to follow her heart. And her mother was right. Even if the pay and respect hadn’t suddenly and amazingly increased, she knew in her heart that what she and the thousands of other teachers she worked with was important. Educating the next generation is by far and away the most important task of any society and teachers are commissioned to do just that. They are not and should not be alone in that task, parents, family, neighbors and community members need to heed the call as well, as it is said, “It takes a village to raise a child.”
(This was simply a fun writing exercise I did this morning that I wanted to share. First draft, welcome to critiques, but thought some might enjoy)
Dedicated and inspired by all the teachers I know, thank you for your selfless commitment to our children.
Want to honor a teacher? Or get involved? Leave a comment and ask me how.