I did not realize until last week that I come from a family primarily composed of educators. Just on my mother’s side, I have four cousins who are teachers and one who is a principal. I realized so much just from the few days I was able to share with my fellow educators. Here are some things I noticed and found very interesting.
Yea… teacher probs….
We talked teacher problems. I felt like I imagine the teacher’s lounge to be like. The environment was toxic when we began talking about our teacher problems. I heard things like, “the kids just don’t care” and “students need to be held accountable-there are no redoes in real life” and “my students just don’t get it.” I didn’t know what to say, so I just listened. I listened to my cousins and realized that I do not and cannot be like them. I was angry and just wanted to tell them that students don’t care because you don’t care, there actually are redoes in most real world situations, AND your students don’t get it because you don’t “get” what your students need to learn. Arguments erupted between my cousins as the administrator blamed teachers for not doing their jobs and getting funding cut while the teachers retorted that it was the administration’s job to find the funding for things that are necessary. Then I realized something else…
Non-teachers avoid and ridicule teachers
As soon as we engaged in our discussion of teacher problems, I noticed that everyone who is not in education left the room within 10 minutes. I can’t say I necessarily blame them, but that sucked a bit to realize that non-teachers do not care to hear about issues educators are having. To top it off, one of my non-teacher cousins ridiculed the teachers and scoffed us for “actually believing what they were saying.” He acted like what was being said wasn’t at all accurate. He continued to joke about a “pecking order” and the disbelief he felt for all that had occurred while he paid attention to the conversations. Is this how everyone outside of the education world feel this way? What could happen if everyone could spend a couple days as a teacher or administrator? Would things be different?
On the bright side….
1. My administrator cousin might be opening an alternative school in the next 5-10 years. I told him to let me know and I would gladly help him out/ if he needed an English teacher he has my number.
2. I am now more aware of the stigma surrounding teachers. I can do my best to fit or not fit into that stigma.
3. I do not have to be like my cousins. I have the choice and power to teach each of my students in a way that I think (and research shows) is one of the best ways to get my students to learn.
4. I have a big fat kitty that loves me.
As a teacher, I am privileged with the opportunity to learn many new things everyday. I love it. I can’t wait to see what my students have for me.