A Stock Image Search of Teachers - Not Exactly Legit
For the past 15 years, I have had the pleasure of regularly looking at stock photography in search of many normal and not so normal things. On the normal side, teachers. In fact, stock photography of teachers seems to make up the bulk of my experience.
I thought I would kick off the week with some non-stock thoughts about stock photography.
I often joke that the most famous teacher in the world is a model. She's not pictured above but if you're in EDU marketing, you have seen her face a thousand times. She's perfect. She's well rested, tan, happy, and her chalkboard is filled with level handwriting and not an eraser mark in sight. And her students! All well behaved and they ALL know the answers because they are all patiently waiting their turn, hands eagerly stretched to the ceiling.
I have become fascinated by the intersection of what we want teachers to look like and what their reality is. Teachers, according to a Google stock image search, are a bit goofy, but confident, calming, and shockingly well rested.
Generally, they look like we imagine our teachers look. Confident, kind, dedicated. And, in my experience, that largely describes teachers. Generally, we barely scratch the idea that teachers might be any
But also? Overwhelmed, underfunded, stretched, exhausted, and sometimes in need of more than a Teachers Lounge break.
When searching was good, it was very very good, and when it was bad, it was this:
While I was searching, I found this kindergarten teacher and her web site. She threw herself a birthday party for her classroom and it made me all mushy inside.
I know I spend a lot of time saying this but...teachers are people. They are, as a whole, dedicated to their jobs, kind, decent, often willing to stand in front of a bullet for our kids. But they are still just people. And they need support.
Incidentally, if you're really interested in what teachers look like, there are a lot of great images (and ideas for what teachers really need) under the #ArmMeWith hash tag.
I wrote this BEFORE the Betsy DeVos debacle. But it is a pretty funny coincidence that none of the classrooms or teachers look like real life....except for The Smiling Teacher above.