By Chan Lowe
4:27 p.m. EST, December 18, 2012
As the nation wades into parallel and interconnected discussions about gun rights, mental illness and the culture of violence in this country, we should also be considering a topic no less related to the Connecticut school tragedy: Are we doing right by our teachers?
Never has the dedication of the people who practice the teaching profession been spotlighted in the way it has over the past few days. We were shown, in dramatic terms, to what lengths teachers are willing to go to fulfill the crucial mandate they have been given: the education and welfare of the most precious members of our society. Yet they are so often treated with disdain.
Teaching is a calling. Not everyone has the will or the stamina to do it well. It takes love, pride, and an almost sacred commitment that can't be explained in words. In America, teachers have traditionally been underpaid, because in America's early communities, "schoolmarms" were always spinsters who were not expected to support families.
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