Let’s combat the negative narratives about the profession together by showing how you #LoveTeaching.

Over the past few years, teachers have faced their share of challenges. A 2012 MetLife Survey reported the lowest rate of job satisfaction among U.S. teachers in nearly 25 years. Add to that the results from Gallup’s State of America’s Schools Report, which highlighted a lack of engagement among U.S. teachers. Certainly, none of these reports are going to help education attract individuals or retain them in the teaching profession.

These complicating factors and negative reports about education are contributing to a lack of trust in teachers and prompting copious reform movements. The implications can be seen in stories from people who chose to leave teaching, or one-sided tales of teacher toil that pop up in social media.

The reverberations of these narratives go on, but they definitely aren’t winning friends or influencing others in a very positive way. Sure, teaching isn’t an easy job, but the challenges in teaching aren’t the whole story.

In fact, there’s another narrative to be told—the upside of teaching—and teachers should to be the ones telling it.

That’s why this Valentine’s Day there is a national effort to share all the great things about teaching called #LoveTeaching. This campaign was created for teachers by teachers from Maryland and Minnesota, among others, who were tired of the negative narrative painting the wrong picture of them and their profession.

Teachers are posting on blogs and social media, sharing notes on bulletin boards at school, and some, including Michigan’s State Superintendent Mike Flanagan, are recording short video stories, a la “Ice Bucket Challenge,” to express their love of teaching and invite others to do the same.

This grassroots effort to rekindle the joy in teaching could be a first step to finding ways to make the education landscape more inviting to prospective teachers and more compelling to those who might otherwise leave. Having the best quality teaching in the classrooms is essential to educational success, and it all starts with identifying the driving passion and commitment to be a great teacher.

We all depend on great teaching. Like the goal of #TeachingIs during Teacher Appreciation Week, #LoveTeaching seeks to set the record straight that teachers do in fact enjoy the work of being teachers.

Our classrooms are, as Mike Rose wrote in Possible Lives, “places that embody the hope for a free and educated society that has, at its best, driven this extraordinary American experiment from the beginning.” Did you catch that? #TeachingIs at the heart of America.

What’s more, as Guy Doud put it, is that “teachers are the molders of dreams.” Maybe it was a favorite teacher you had in school, or the reason you got into teaching yourself. Perhaps it’s what sustains you in your work in the face of adversity. There are many reasons to love teaching, and chances are good that you probably have plenty of your own to share.

The time is now for you to set your story free so that other teachers and the world can hear it.

No matter why you #LoveTeaching, you are invited to join teachers everywhere and take part in this week-long blogging and social media campaign to share using the #LoveTeaching hashtag across all social channels.

You can check out the one-minute explainer video that lays out the campaign. There is also a shareable infographic, which outlines how to get involved, and a toolkit for educators to use to help them craft blog posts, share pictures/videos, or highlight their thoughts using the hashtag on any social media channel.

It’s time to take a step back and remind ourselves of all the great things about teaching amidst all of the challenges facing education. There is much to be thankful for, love and appreciate in teaching, and the world needs to hear that part of the story. Regardless of how you choose to get involved, let’s all pause for a moment to reboot and remind ourselves why we #LoveTeaching.

So what’s the reason why you #LoveTeaching? Share it in the comments below and on social media all this week.

About the Guest Blogger
Gary Abud, Jr. is an Instructional Coach with the Grosse Pointe Public Schools in Michigan, where he works with 600 PreK-12 educators to support teaching and learning. In addition to his instructional coaching duties, Gary is a student in the Galileo Teacher Leadership Academy, a state coordinator for the Michigan Modeling Instruction Program, and has served in an advisory role on the Michigan State Board of Education. Gary is the 2014 Michigan Teacher of the Year and an advocate for teaching, leading and learning. Connect with Gary on Twitter @mr_abud or via his website.

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