Appreciate the educators

Sat 22 August 2009 | tags: Rants

There is a disturbing trend that I've seen with many stores that offer teacher discounts (sometimes called "Educator Appreciation" events). Usually the discounts are provided for only those teachers who teach K-12. Why is this? JoDee is an adjunct professor (which we sometimes jokingly call grade 13). JoDee and I have seen teacher appreciation deals at Borders which had some pretty good deals, but unfortunately were limited only to those who were K-12 teachers. Its mildly upsetting to think that only K-12 teachers are the only ones worthy of being recognized as teachers. That's not to say that I don't think the world of K-12 teachers (many of whom are good friends and family, and get nothing but my utmost respect). Perhaps the K-12 limitation is to keep things from getting too far out of control (after all, aren't we all teachers in some regard? What about home-schooling? Adult Education? Community Education?) Maybe K-12 is under the microscope more than most teachers (especially with the "No Child Left Behind" and other political programs that busily strip away precious classtime and control from teachers in the name of promoting norms for education). Maybe the stores want to promote the image of a nurturing figure in the K-12 segment rather than the image of a hardened tenured professor who couldn't care less if the students showed up or not? I'm not sure if that's the case (and I know there are plenty of college professors who are just as caring for their students and their well-being as any K-12 teacher). Excluding college professors and adjunct faculty from these sales irks me.