Here's the deal.
Not only am I tired of hearing, "Oh Alyssa, you're an English major so you're going to be a teacher?" but I truly loathe how regular people react to teachers living life.
DUDE, do you not realize that teachers deal with smaller and less mature versions of adults ALL DAY?
Excuse me if I am not quick to "help children" when teachers are underpaid, undervalued, and overworked. How would I know that? Great question. My mom was a teacher for a lot of my life and when it drained her, it drained the family too.
Yikes. I painted a really bad picture of the education system.
Well, it's not hard considering I have been in my mom's classroom watching snotty little kids tell off my mom when she's just.. I don't know...DOING HER JOB. Don't get me wrong, it is an honorable profession because teachers are molding the future of our world. Yes, that little girl with hickies on her neck and a black jacket covering her self harm scars are a part of the future. Believe it or not, my mom would be the woman to help that little girl not end her life and not get pregnant at eleven years old. Did anyone get that? MY MOM WOULD HAVE HELPED SAVE THAT LITTLE GIRL, NOT HER OWN PARENTS BUT MY MOM. (that little girl is alive and well)
I cannot address the things my mother has done for over 300 children that have entered her classrooms because that would a 25-page paper fully cited in MLA and over fifteen therapy sessions. Yes, my mom going above and beyond for good kids, bad kids, and all kids in between took a lot of time, effort, and a lot of her strength. (Yes, my mom is a badass but I was alone a lot because of this hence the therapy joke).
This isn't just about my mom, this is about one of my close friends who chose the profession of teaching Physics to the worst kind of students...high school students. Want to talk about nightmares? Let's talk about teaching one of the most difficult subjects to one of the most difficult kind of learners. Don't even argue with me middle school or elementary because high school students are emotional, hormonal, and they think they are adults (let's all laugh in adult college debt). They have to be treated like children AND adults. It's a tough gig.
That's why I think it is ridiculous that my mom and my best friend are worried about living life outside of the classroom.
My mom can't do this or that because of her student's parents judging her or frankly, even being out at the same location as her. My best friend can't do this or that because she can run into her part-time working students AND their parents. What is this nonsense? For over forty hours a week these two important people have to be emotionally, physically, and mentally drained to teach and can't be themselves in public? I call bullshit.
They aren't doing anything out of the professional setting that in considered scandalous and still they are cautious? Yes, if my best friend and I want to headbang at a rock show, LET US. She will be there on time for work and probably in a better mood because when we were high school kids we loved going to shows and now we can afford to. If my mom wants to go with me to the beach and have a pina colada, LET US. Their jobs are difficult and sometimes they need to relax so if you are a student or a parent to a student and you see a teacher just mind your business. These teachers see their students way more than you do (as a parent) and I promise they really don't need to speak to you at Chili's on a Thursday night.
My mom and my best friend are themselves before they are teachers.
Their mental health can impact their students and ultimately their futures so let them live outside their jobs. I am not saying teachers should not be law-abiding citizens like the rest of the world, I am just saying don't stalk teachers on social media. Don't text them when they're not at work (or in general) and leave your judgmental comments to yourself.
Unless their personal life is negatively impacting their job performance or their students, let them be happy.
- Teachers: Underappreciated And Underpaid ›
- Because Teaching Is Not Just A Job ›
- Teaching Is A Passion Not A Profession ›
- How Being A Teacher Is More Than Teaching ›