On this day (and no other) we recite a prayer known as the Al Chet (translation: for the sin...). In it, we chant a list of 51 things that we have done against God and ask for forgiveness. During closing services last night I was struck by a line I have said probably hundreds of times in my life thus far but have never really emphasized until now:
.על חטא שחטאנו לפניך בזלזול הורים ומורים
For the sin which we have committed before You by disrespect for parents and teachers.
While I do not advocate for the introduction of religion in public schools, I think there is something to be learned here that has been forgotten in many places of education across the country: the profession of teacher is one that should be deeply respected. Unfortunately, I do not think that is taking place right now and it saddens me.
Over the past day I have reflected on much - my personal and professional lives, my family, my friends, my goals - but I hope this tidbit is something that I hold onto while I am arguing and pushing for more teacher voice in the realm of education. Teachers deserve more and hopefully soon we will get it.