Writing my way through the school year!

Posts tagged ‘New and Prospective Teachers’

“Just” a Teacher!?

view detailsAs I prepared dinner the other night, my son and I talked. Somehow, our conversation steered to  how smart I was.  In order to prove my point, I bragged to my son how I had been in gifted programs all my life, and had even skipped a grade. 

He laughed and said, “If you’re so smart, how come you’re just a teacher?” 

 “Just a teacher?”, I thought.  I was flabbergasted! Yet, at the same time, my mind raced, questioning my chosen occupation. An occupation I had loved for 26 years. 

 He continued, “If you’re so smart, why aren’t you a doctor or a lawyer?”  Ouch! I told him, “I am that smart, but I have chosen to teach”. It brought to mind part of that horrible quote, “Those who can’t, teach.” I asked him who  he thinks taught those doctors and lawyers. 

 He responded, “Bill Gates didn’t go to college, and he’s a millionaire!”

 I answered, “But he did attend Kindergarten through 12th grade, right?” Who do you think taught him everything he knows? A teacher!” 

 We continued our conversation and I think I changed his opinion, maybe.  I have to admit, what he said stung. I went to college, I have a B.S. and a M.S., but my son thinks I’m not that smart because I’m “just” a teacher. 

Maybe this is why teachers have such a hard time getting respect.  Maybe this is why so many young teachers I’ve encountered, don’t really learn the craft, they worry about how long it will be before they “get out the classroom.”

I love teaching, I don’t want to be a doctor, lawyer, principal, etc…, I want to be a teacher, even if I’m “just” a  teacher!

The Teacher’s Lounge

I eat lunch  in my classroom.  I sit with a good book, and the lamp on my desk I eat in my room for a reason. I can not tolerate eating in the Teacher’s Lounge.  Sometimes, I felt sorry for a new teacher who entered the lounge, what must they think?  After a half hour of  listening to seasoned teachers disparaging parents and students alike, are they ready to leave the profession, or do they join in, believing it’s normal? It’s wasn’t all the teachers, it’s a core group, and they were merciless.  We all gripe from time to time, but they were vicious. Comments about parents on drugs or drinking, all unproven accusations. Calling the children stupid or questioning why the parents are still “breeding.” Day after day, they’d gather together around the table , spewing their venom, regardless of who was around them.  Once, we had a substitute complain to the principal, and refuse to return to our school after spending her lunchtime in our Teacher’s Lounge.  We need to be mindful of how we talk about our kids and their parents , no matter how often they annoy us. Keep in mind, it has to be difficult to go back to the classroom, and leave that attitiude behind.  Remember why you’re there!

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