5/11/11

Fed up with Teacher Bashing.....(from a teacher)

A rule of thumb I have when gauging people is when they get too entangled in others' business that can only mean one thing. It means they must be terribly unhappy in their own lives. Look at gay-bashers for example. One must be totally unhappy in their own life to take the time and energy to bash people who have not hurt you, or don't even know. You could shroud and justify this bashing with religious or philosophical mumbo jumbo. But ultimately, this type of behavior to me signifies a very unhappy person.

Similarly, as a public school teacher, I also apply this rule to people who have excessive and often loud negative views on teachers. When I hear teacher-bashing of any form I often think to myself, "these people are just jealous!!!". They are jealous that we have the summers off, they are jealous that we have national holidays off, that our day technically ends at 4pm and so on. But, they are not jealous enough to want to be a teacher, oh no, never!!!! But just jealous enough to spew out negative stuff about our, so called, benefits.

You see, people who bash teachers have generally chosen a path that insures financial security, and because their path prioritizes on money-making, they also often have to work like a dog. Most of them hate their own jobs and have no choice but to work long hours in order to be able to afford all the bells and whistles they've been told they need to feel successful; they see no other way and may even feel horrible stuck.

Career teachers chose this other path that sometimes does not even provide a living wage, yet prioritizes in making a difference. (By career teachers I mean the ones how want to be teachers for life and not the three-year teachers that want to get out of the classrooms as soon as they gather some experience.) We have chosen this path not because we are saints, but because it feels wonderful to be a teacher. I chose to teach because I love teaching, I love being in the classroom, I love schools, I love schedules, I love kids and the unending slew of sacred small moments that reaffirms life. Teacing makes me feel alive. I also chose this path because I want to spend time with my own kids. The house and the big back yard are being sacrificed so that mom can be home to make dinner every night. The house and the big yard are being sacrificed so that I can feel I am making a difference in people's lives. The house and the big back yard are being sacrificed so that I get home from work with enough energy to play with my kids, read to them, hear about their day and make sure they know deep in their core they are worth spending time with.

Therefore, when you feel yourself getting too overworked, jealous or angry about what others out there are doing and are ticked off at the vast benefits others are enjoying, instead of bashing, perhaps it's time to look within and see what's missing in your own life. I suggest you volunteer at a local public school and check it out. The financial/corporate office is no match for life-affirming feeling a classroom environment provides me each morning.


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