A debate sparked on my Facebook yesterday.
Most of my area schools were closed because it was pretty icy and slick yesterday. My county was the one main exception in the metro area and was just on a two-hour delay. I, like a lot of people, whined a bit. Mainly just because I’m afraid to drive in ice and hearing dozens of accidents around the area made me nervous. So I made a Facebook status that was essentially “Booo school” and a few of my fellow school counselors agreed (those that had to work as well) because they were also nervous about the drive.
Another Facebook friend of mine decides to make a status “Why are all of you teachers bitching about ‘only’ having a two hour delay, it’s not like you all work all year like most of us hardworking people. You have kids 10 months that you ‘teach’ and then you play all the rest of the time. Just shut up and go to work like everyone else that actually has the ambition to work all year”
I’m like……what the hell?????
And, of course, it started a whole long debate about how ignorant that comment was and the original poster sticking to their guns saying that teachers are lazy and it’s why our kids are so “stupid” and why we’ve fallen so far behind because teachers are more concerned with not being in school than doing their job [that they don’t have to do all year like “hardworking people”].
I will never be the person that makes the generalization that all educators aren’t lazy and that we’re just as hardworking as everyone else. It’s not true. There are “bad seeds” in every occupation. Maybe this person has experienced some of the “bad seeds” and for that I’m sorry, but to overgeneralize that we are all lazy and horrible at our job is so offensive to me. Some of us work 50-60 hours a week to make sure that our kids are well taken care of. And just because we’re not in school for two months, it doesn’t mean that we’re not working. I already have a to-do list for this summer of things I want to change and implement at Seton for next year. I can’t do any of that during the school year because I simply don’t have the time to work on it. So that is what the summer is for.
I know teachers who go to work at 7am and don’t leave until almost 5pm most days (Devon is one of them, as am I). My school day ends at 2:40, but I’m still usually in my office working until at least 4:30, after arriving by 7:15am most mornings. Then I take things home to work on. I love that we get laptops here to use because I can take work home with me on the weekends and at night so that I don’t have to be in my office longer. Devon brings work home on the weekends too. I don’t know of too many educators that don’t take time to plan or grade or research stuff on the weekends for the upcoming week.
I understand that education is not what it used to be in this country. Any GOOD educator knows that and is working at their best to try and do something about it. We can’t do this alone but in a lot of cases we are. Belittling what we do by saying we don’t work hard and we have “cushy” hours is ludicrous.
I’ve seen people say this before and the only argument I can ever think to say is, “if you think it’s so easy come do my job for a day; come do Devon’s job for a day (yes, the 7th grade science teacher at a Title One School – which is a poverty school for those that don’t know what Title One means), do any of my friends who are teachers or counselors jobs for one day. See what we see. Hear the stories that counselors listen to and try to help with all day”. It’s a lot. It’s hard work. The majority of us do it because we genuinely love it and want to help kids. It’s not for the “cushy” hours. Help out in your kids classrooms and see what the teacher has to deal with all day everyday and you might think a little differently before you belittle what educators do.
It makes my head hurt. The sheer ignorance is mind boggling to me. And all of these people are a product of some form of education. If they showed this ignorance to their teachers, maybe it has something to do with the general feelings toward education and educators in this country. Something for them to think about.