Being a teacher….We aren’t the problem

I am a public school teacher who has been in the classroom for thirty
years. Kids are different in many ways as are schools. Most of the time I love my job, but
there are many days when the frustration at student apathy, cockiness, and just rude
behavior get to me. I hear people say they are bored at work, but I can honestly say that
is not true in teaching. There is always something to learn and something that needs to be
done.

I like the challenge even if the reward is not always apparent. I am
approaching retirement and looking forward to it. It will be nice to have my evenings free
from grading papers and Sundays free from writing and making lesson plans. I will miss the
kids but I will volunteer some at the local elementary school for awhile.

Administration and even some colleagues can be a pain. Pettiness runs
rampant in my school, but I suspect that is true everywhere. It may be endemic to our
society anymore.

I just concluded 10 weeks supervising a student teacher. What a treat! The
energy and new ideas she brought in were cool (as the kids say).

I hope the national pastime of blaming teachers and schools for all ills
of society doesn’t destroy public education. It’s sad to see the hoops these new
enthusiastic teachers have to jump through for mediocre pay, long hours, and often the
disrespect they receive. Teaching used to be fun because it was creative and unique. Now
we are expected to teach to a test, make parents happy, make kids happy with great grades,
make colleges happy with lower grades, and make the industrial/business world happy by
turning out model employees until they can find a way to dispose of them. I worry about my
grandchildren and my own kids. I worry about my students.