Thursday, September 22, 2011

I may be preaching to the choir...

As my post title suggests, I'm likely preaching to the choir, as the saying goes.  Chances are if you are reading my blog, you are a teacher, live with a teacher, or are my friend, and I'm a teacher.  But I'm exceedingly irked.  I've tried to get past it today, to no avail.  One of my more charming attributes is my tendency to obsess, even perseverate.  Just ask my husband.  In fact it's a family trait.  Just ask my sister (or her husband).
Anyway, last night at the end of the Shimster's basketball practice, a family friend of ours totally put me on the spot and slagged teachers.  Apparently we are a grossly overpaid group of people.  Have I mentioned that about 1/2 the parents of the kids on the team are teachers, the coach is a principal, the other coach is his best friend and obviously likes teachers?  I happened to be talking to this guys wife, and there were no other of my professional brethren in the vicinity.  He lit into me about how much money teachers earn, we're overpaid, too many holidays, blah, blah, blah.  All the crappola I've heard before.  But, it was embarrassing to say the least.  I managed to hold my tongue, because frankly it was neither the time, nor the place.  And I really like his wife who may not be comfortable remaining my friend after I've told her husband to f****off.

Do teachers make a wonderful living?  Absolutely.  Do we have great benefits and holidays?  Absolutely.  I would argue that we earn our $$.  And spend a lot of it on our students and our classrooms.  Not to mention the university courses we regularly take that cost us a fortune.  The next time I`m laying awake for the whole night worrying about someone else's child, I'll be thinking of that family "friend" (with friends like those, who needs enemies?).  Maybe I'll even give him a call and share my thoughts and anxieties about my students, I'm sure at 3 a.m. he'll appreciate that.  And on weekends when I'm writing IEPs, report cards, day plans, unit plans or marking mountains of student work and making anecdotal notes, and my kid needs help with his homework or his jumpshot, or needs a ride to the city for a game, I'll give my buddy a call.  I'm sure he'll understand.  Maybe he'll go to my kid's report card interview for me, because my husband is on afternoons and I'm having interviews with the parents of my students.  And I'll have him go to meet the teacher for me--I'm at my school meeting those parents.  And next summer when my kids want to go to the beach or Canada's Wonderland and I'm too busy working on a course, I'll give him a call.  I'm sure he'll be happy to take them for me.  Maybe he'll offer to pay for the damn course too.

My chosen career is a wonderful one.  I don't deny it.  It allows me to live in a nice house, drive a nice car and pay for my kids activities.  But it will never make me rich.  I have no desire to be rich, I love my job.  But I really don't understand how it is at all acceptable to publically slag all teachers.  I too have my issues with some teachers.  However, it is none of my business how much money someone else makes.  Or how many holidays they get.  And even if I pondered it, I certainly wouldn't deliberately embarrass that person in a public place.  You know what they say about assumptions.  Making assumptions and judgements about the income of others is not only incredibly tacky, it makes you look like a complete ass.

Again, I love my job.  I love the kids.  I work with a wonderful group of people.  But it is not all roses.  I gladly do all of the things I wrote about above.  I have also been sworn at, worried for my physical safety (or that of a colleague), been harassed by a mentally unbalanced parent, been sexually harassed by a parent (that was just a little uncomfortable...), laid off from my job, been recalled to a job I didn't want.  Sometimes it's not a picnic. 

Thank you for the chance to get it off of my chest.  I feel better.  I won't be sitting with that "friend" at any upcoming games or practices.  I don't see any conversation forthcoming either.  I'm not sure I will have as much self-control the next time.

I'm not sure if it's my agitated state, but my run today was sooooo crappy.  I only did 1/2 of what I had planned.  I just didn't have it in me today to push through.  It could be just the result of being overtired.  Who knows?  Tomorrow is another day.  And the annual school Terry Fox Run.  I'm hoping to run with the kids, but we'll see.  It's on grass, not my favourite running surface.

Thank you again choir.  It's been a pleasure preaching at you again today.

No comments: