Opinion: Essentials and non-essentials | SteamboatToday.com
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Opinion: Essentials and non-essentials


Jerry Buelter>br> For Steamboat Pilot & Today

Just like most of you, I have come to enjoy my daily walks. As I was out today, I started thinking about how we determine what are essential and non-essential roles.

I believe that all of us serve an essential role to at least someone else. When it comes to being non-essential, I come closer than most, but I do fix my wife’s breakfast so I might qualify as semi-essential. I guess we are all essential in some way or another. That doesn’t mean we do not need to follow social distancing guidelines.

As I continued along the path, my ADD kicked in and eventually led me to a familiar line from George Bernard Shaw’s “Maxims for Revolutionists” — “He who can, does; he who cannot, teaches.”

So as I thought about those who cannot, I came up with a few thoughts of my own…

  1. Those who cannot: can handle 25 students in a classroom.
  2. Those who cannot: can communicate with the parents of those 25 students.
  3. Those who cannot: are expected to treat each student as if they were their only.
  4. Those who cannot: go through a 12- to 20-page evaluation process every year.
  5. Those who cannot: meet with their boss several times a year to go over their progress in achieving their goals.
  6. Those who cannot: have further education requirements in order to be recertified.
  7. Those who cannot: take their work home with them, and/or
  8. Those who cannot: show up to their classroom on weekends or days off.

And those who cannot are successful in the teaching profession because they:

  1. Love kids.
  2. Love learning.
  3. Love making a difference.
  4. Love celebrating differences.
  5. Love what and who they teach.
  6. Love kids.

When it comes down to what and who are essential and non-essential, may we all agree that we all are essential. Perhaps some of us are more essential than others, but essential nonetheless. Going forward, my hope is we see the “essentialness” in each and every one of us and the roles we play.

Thanks to all of you on the front line, you truly are the essentials. 

Jerry Buelter is a retired teacher, coach and principal and he maintains the website, stuckinthemiddleschoolwithyou.com.


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