Wednesday, May 9, 2012

PYHO: A Reaction to a PotShot

I've mentioned several times this year that my school year has been overwhelming and rough, but in general, I try not to talk too much about school. My student's stories aren't mine to tell and even though I'm mostly anonymous, I don't have their parent's permission to tell their story, so I don't.

But last night, on facebook, someone who's opinion I value ~or had valued~ made a deliberate and mean remark about teachers.  A friend had posted her frustration over her son's text anxiety and his teacher's seeming unwillingness to deal with it.  Several people got on giving advice, remarking on the specific situation and teacher's behavior.  I commented offering my help and within minutes, this person got on and made a deliberate and pointed remark that was generalized to "all teachers", but directed at me.

I was offended, but decided not to say anything publicly.  What I did do, was get in touch with the original poster through a series of texts in which I offered further advice and help, which was welcomed and appreciated. In speaking to her, I realized that I was not off the mark... the dig was noticed. 

I don't complain too much about my job, I don't think.  I let the remarks from the general public about how teachers only work 10 months a year, get holidays off, have a cake jobs, etc, etc slide off my back.  I don't comment when people, parents, friends etc, tell me how to do my job because they have kids and they were in school once so the MUST know exactly how it is and what's best.

It's just frustrating sometimes, because
a) I get paid crap... without child support, we could not make ends meet and I'm frugal!
b) I can't make or take a phone call during business hours, which makes setting up appointments and things a challenge.
c) While I do get summers off, I have to work at least part time to pay the bills.
d) My job doesn't end when the bell rings. Most nights and weekends find me bringing home work and the summer... yes, I do school work then too. There is always more I could do and I never feel like I'm doing enough.
d) Heck, I can't even pee when I have to... I've got to wait for break!

I knew this when I became a teacher, which is why, for the most part, I don't complain, but that doesn't mean it's always easy. That doesn't mean the reality of it doesn't leave me frustrated and exhausted! Especially when I feel taken for granted, unappreciated or worse, flat-out criticized.

I truly care about my students. I want them all to succeed and I work hard to get them to do so.  Given the state I live in, the structure of our particular education system and the population I teach, sometimes that doesn't happen, but even when I know a student will not pass the state tests, I still jump through hoops every day to help  him/her learn.  Who wouldn't?  IT'S MY JOB!

And those state tests?  I don't like 'em any more than you do. I think they are ridiculous, too long, too hard, and not indicative of the way they want us to teach and what they want the students to learn ~ yes, I realize that makes no sense~ but I have to prepare the students for them and let them practice so the day of the first test isn't the first time they've looked at a test booklet or bubble sheet, because IT'S MY JOB!

I don't criticize you ~collective you, not you specifically, since chances are, I don't actually know you~ when you are able to work from home in a childcare pinch, leave in the middle of the day to run an errand, go to the doctor, or post on facebook just because I cannot, so don't take pot shots at me!

Yes, just like in any profession, some teachers don't measure up, sometimes you get a student-parent-teacher combo that just doesn't mix and frustrates everyone involved,but most of us are there every day, trying our darnedest to help your child succeed, even if you think we don't like them or you. 

I work hard. Implying, or flat out saying any less in a public forum is uncalled for!

*Off my soap box* 

* I'm hitting publish, but I just want to make sure everyone understands that this is a direct reaction to the person who made the comment. One who does not know about my blog, so I can safely vent here without causing drama.  It's not intended to offend anyone who reads it! 



Blond Duck said...

I think being a teacher is the hardest job there is!

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e/Mrs. Seaman) said...

Agreed. I have written many similar posts. Everything you wrote is spot on.

Jenn [ Crippled Girl ] said...

People can be such assholes. It amazes me sometimes how we all think our jobs are SOOOO much harder than everyone else's . . . and that it's okay to make crap comments like what the FB poster did.

I'm positive that you're a great teacher! Don't let them ever let you think otherwise. *hugs*

Diane said...

I've always thought, well at least since I've had kids in school, that teaching has to be one of the hardest jobs in the world and I have no doubt that you are a great one!

Di said...

I have considered becoming a teacher but I don't think I am cut out for it. It takes a very special person to be good at it and I appreciate you!

Stephanie said...

I'm always shocked to learn what teachers in the States make. Teachers up here in Canada get paid very well. Oh and applauding. I know it's a tough job!

barefootmeds said...

I admire teachers, and apart from my family, my teachers were some of the most important figures in my life. Your work does not go unnoticed, although it sure feels like it sometimes. Don't let them get to you!

Shell said...

I literally snorted when you mentioned people thinking teaching is a cake job. It's definitely not! It might be "just" 10 months- but those 10 months, teachers work their asses off and bring things home with them and work on weekends, too. Plus, just taking a sick day is an ordeal- forget about actually getting to take a vacation.
Oh, I could keep just going and going on this.

Tiffany said...

Amen to you my friend. I thought once a long time ago I wanted to be a teacher and rethought the idea. I could NO way teach 18 or so individuals day in and day out. Just because one teacher might suck, does not imply that all do.
Honestly, since my daughter has been in public school (4 years) we have had one dud. She meant well, but should have not been teaching. IMO. But I would not base every teacher on her performance. That is completely ridiculous.

And posting such crap on a public forum takes balls. All in due time, that will come back to bite them in the ass.
(sorry for the swear words.) said...

I think it's ridiculous how little teachers get paid. Good or you for speaking your mind!

Andrea (ace1028) said...

I'd say teaching is the second hardest job ever. Second only to parenting!!! What crap that someone would take a shot like that. Hmph. I hate that the "anonymity" of Fb or whatever would make them feel comfortable enough to do so - or not anon, but the hiding and not being face-to-face, ya know?

Liz said...

My mom was a school teacher for 26 years. I have so much respect for teachers because of her. I could go on and on about how much crap teachers take that they shouldn't have to. Thank you for being a teacher and being willing to offer help to struggling student.

Babes Mami said...

I think teachers have one of the hardest jobs around!

Amy said...

I always wanted to be a teacher but life took a different turn. I admire teachers for what they do, what they put up with, and all for very little recognition or pay.