When teachers describe themselves as “Just a teacher”, this does us all a huge disservice.
‘Just’ could imply that you only just made it as a teacher.
More often than not though it implies that being a teacher isn’t really much to shout about.
Let’s get this straight, ‘just’ is a four-letter word that we really shouldn’t be using.
You aren’t ‘just’ a teacher. You are one so be proud of it.
The words teachers use to describe themselves are powerful, especially when expressed in public. By saying we are ‘just’ anything then we are denying our expertise and identity as if it’s something to apologise for or hide away in embarrassment.
Teachers have to embrace their teacher identity as skilled practitioners. By uttering the four-letter word then teachers are letting the side down and it is indicative of professional low self-esteem.
Of course, the sliding scale of experience means that some teachers are genuinely at the expert end by way of flying hours alone but many newly qualified teachers can do themselves down and feel like they cant’ really compare.
Well, they might not be able to compare hours on the clock but everyone brings something to the table and if you have qualified as a teacher then you have earned it so be proud.
If you are a teacher then you are one of the most valued members of society. As you grow and evolve then confidence grows and so does your identity.
If you say “I’m just a teacher” when asked by someone else at a party what it is that you ‘do’ then it is an affront to who you are and what you do.
You are not “just” a teacher. You’re a teacher and that means you are the lifeblood of your community. Take you away and the school just doesn’t exist.
Teachers are skilled in the art and science of teaching, learning and assessment and so it’s time we removed that insulting four-letter word from our party vocabulary.