be honest: have you ever said this?

Have you ever said to yourself (or out loud):
"I don't want to be a teacher anymore."

I talk a lot on this blog about being a teacher: the ups, the downs, the kids, the policies, the exhaustion, and the excitement. I believe somewhere in these five or so years of archives, I have even said: "I can't imagine being anything other than a teacher."

And yet!! When I came across this article written by a 34 year teaching veteran, I could totally relate. I realize I've only been the profession for 6 years and didn't get to experience the "glory" days of teaching, but her description of what times are like right now absolutely rings true.

Teachers are in the news a lot right now with (it seems) nation-wide cuts in salaries, benefits, and even jobs. I enjoyed this clip from The Jon Stewart Show: he compared teachers with wall street. What he highlights from about minute 3:45 on to the end will have your blood boiling!

And I also thought that this excellent interview with Diane Ravitch  about the real reason for poor educational performance was also worth sharing:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Diane Ravitch
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

It all just makes me wonder if teaching is the new hated profession? Move over lawyers, there's a new butt of every joke!


Miss Teacher said...

kshdfksdhg;okwhsg;kseg <--my reaction to the sound bites in the first clip.

seriously, what is wrong with these people? teachers "fighting for things that they frankly don't deserve" health care? dear god...

Cortney said...

Wow, I'm not sure what to say about the clips. I really don't understand people some times...maybe we should blame the teachers that taught them.

Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

I love John Stewart. He's the only one that makes me enjoy having my blood boil over the idiocy of our current financial and political climate.

I love how they put together the clips of the pundits saying that $250 K isn't a lot of money and $50K is too much. I guess they can't remember their own rhetoric.

Sparkling said...

I won't watch those clips because my blood was boiling enough on Thursday when a dean said something REALLY DUMB to me.

But no, I have never said or even thought I don't want to teach anymore.

When a student hung himself my first year and that same year a neighbor who was also in my class overdosed on pills, I thought "wow, no one prepared me for that." But I didn't want to stop.

When the rearrangement of principals 4 years ago shattered my building into a flock of people who are like shellshocked war victims, I still didn't want to stop.

I have thought that I would happily get rid of people who have pissed me off so badly. And that a new principal would make me enjoy things more.

But I love what I do and I love it when (rarely) kids get excited about what I do, so I can't stop.

Plus, there is a very real fear in me that I am not cut out for a 9-5 job in the corporate world saying yes master. I am my boss behind my classroom door and at 2:45 I can technically leave and not return all summer long and those other breaks we get. I think I would truly die if I had to leave the lifestyle that teaching has allowed me to have.

So when those days come when you think you might hear that voice whisper the silliest amount of doubt, think about EVERYTHING related to what you do. I bet you'll find that this is the best job a human being could ever have and that assholes who criticize will come and go, but the kids you taught will always remember something about you. Even if it's that you had bad breath one day or you had messy hair another or that you called his mother and tattled. Try making that kind of impact from a cubicle in a rat hole.

Anonymous said...

Teachers have opportunities every day to impact lives. It's not a job, it's a vocation! (And no, I didn't say vacation!) Of course I feel that teachers should have more respect and better compensation. But just as important (and even far more important) is the knowledge that one's life is making a difference. Investing in lives rather than bank accounts is what brings lasting satisfaction.
OK, I'm off my soap box now. Love you, Mom

elysabeth said...

Dang it - my long comment didn't go through - Now I should've known better than to post a comment without copying it just in case something like this happened - I think Diane is right on the money though - thanks for sharing - E :)

Elysabeth Eldering
Author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad, 50-state, mystery, trivia series

Where will the adventure take you next?

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