"I touch the future, I teach." "Because of you, students succeed." "Teaching is not a profession; it's a passion." These are samples of phrases splashed across a packet of coupons I recently received in my mailbox. Why so many notes to teachers like these — on posters, books, calendars and emails?

I don't get it. Do nurses, delivery drivers or mid-level managers get flooded with warm-fuzzy notes like we teachers do? How about attorneys, judges or construction workers?

It almost appears as if we teachers are pitied by society. As if by flooding our eyes and ears with cute notes will dissolve the unfairness we teachers perceive. Let me be the first to say, however, that I do not need any of these pity-hinting, warm-fuzzy notes. After all, as a fourth-year teacher, I am content with my wages, put in my seven hours and go home and enjoy doing other things in the summertime.

If, however, our state legislators decide to sprinkle pathogenic ideas onto my healthy professional life, I will then gladly use my graduate degree to enjoy some other career. Or, I'll move to Wyoming.

Ben Watkins