This week has been hard. Very hard. So hard that Monday felt like an eternity and I was already not wanting but needing the weekend. Most of it has been work-related, but all the way around it has just been an exhausting, chaotic, never-ending week. Today (and it's only Wednesday) was the final straw. So yes, I am venting. I don't care if anyone reads my blog, this is one of the few things I do in my life for my own benefit, so yes, I am about to vent, right here, right now.
Most of us with an ounce of common sense know that good teachers are a rarity. Let me tell you why: because they are not appreciated, not by parents, not by ungrateful students, not by society as a whole. Everyone will admit teaching is one of the most important professions one can enter into, yet as a general rule, teachers get paid next to nothing to shape, mold, and care for your most precious possession: your child. Now I admit it, I have it good. Unlike many, I am appreciated by my employer, and my students are too young to be jaded about school so as a general rule, they adore me and enjoy coming into my classroom everyday. That is because I am a good teacher, and I know this. I'm not the best, but I strive to be, which is what makes me good. My kids learn something everyday, they have fun, they love me yet they respect me and my boundaries, and in almost 12 years of teaching in some capacity, I have maybe a handful of children and parents with whom I just couldn't get along and find some way to make that necessary bond that needs to exist between student, family, and teacher.
I appreciate the many parents who show and speak their appreciation for the job I do. Many recognize that I spend more waking hours with their children each day than they do. Many tell me they see my influence on their child's life and they see how hard I work to do what I do each day. Because of these parents, I am usually quite happy to get up and go to work each morning. I put in my own time to ensure my classroom is fun, inviting, and challenging because I know the children will benefit and because I want to do a good job each day.
Then there are days like today when some parents make it quite clear that I am nothing more than the hired help. They went out of their way to show me they consider their time to be valuable while mine is expendable. Not only do they not show appreciation of what I do each day, but they act as if my extra effort and diligence is expected. Guess what - it isn't. I do things for your child that you will never understand, of which you will never be aware, and for which I don't get paid, except with the hugs and adoration that emanates from your child's eyes. I am SOOOOOOO glad that has been enough for me, because if not, I would have told you all to go to hell and left this profession long ago. My life could be easier emotionally and financially if I didn't find it so important to be a part of your child's life.
So I have advice for all and everyone. If you find a teacher that you know is a genuinely good teacher, a teacher who cares about your child and whom your child enjoys, do this: say thank you. Tell that teacher he/she is important to you and that you see the great job that is being done. Understand that every good teacher puts forth time and energy that you will never see, for which he/she will never get paid. Understand that while your child's development and education are the rewards we seek at the end of the day, your one moment of ingratitude and general rudeness can wipe all that happened good that day. Take serious the role teachers play in your child's life and show respect for the job that is being done. When you aren't there to hold your child's hand, hug your child, give your child the encouragement needed to take that risk necessary to reach the next milestone, it is a teacher that is there doing the job for you. Remember that and remember we aren't required to care. It is what a good teacher does and just like your child, you have the power to make or break that teacher's spirit in an instant.
Now I can breathe and sleep well knowing that as a good teacher, I kicked ass today, and that as a parent, many of you sucked. :)