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!
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!