Wednesday, December 10, 2008

To Whom it May Concern...

I am a teacher. I attended college on a full scholarship. I have a Bachelor’s degree. I graduated Summa Cum Laude. I have a Master’s Degree. I am well read, meticulous and dedicated. I plan lessons, grade papers and answer emails until 11 each night. I’m up at 5 in the morning and am lucky if my head is on the pillow by midnight. I work hard, am good at what I do and hope for a brighter future.

But each day, that hope grows dimmer and dimmer. Each day I am insulted by students, antagonized by parents and forgotten by the institution. Daily I struggle with being cussed out, disrespected and bullied. And yet nothing is done. Parents email saying I don’t do enough for their child, so I try harder. The child, however, does not, but the parent emails again insisting that I try harder. So I do.

I am tired. I am tired of being ignored. I am tired of being treated like a second class citizen. I am tired of working so hard for no result. I am tired of waking up each day knowing that I will have some battle to fight and, inevitably, lose. I am just tired.

Too long have teachers been viewed as a low class position. Too long have we been expected to tolerate things that no other profession would ever tolerate. Too long have teachers been looked at as babysitters. Too long have we worked in a thankless job with thankless people.

When will people start to realize that no person could be where they are today without a teacher? Why is it that the CEO of a big company gets recognition and praise and all teachers get ridicule? Why do professional athletes make millions and I can barely pay my mortgage? Why do auto companies and banks get bail outs for overspending when I can’t afford pencils for my classes?

I don’t know how much longer I can fight the battle. Conditions are worse and I am more exhausted than ever. I’m done playing this game. It seems I can’t win.

3 rambled with me...:

Sarah said...

I am not a teacher, but I couldn't agree with you more. (Well, I am teaching a couple college classes...but I'm really not a teacher.

I think that you have one of THE MOST IMPORTANT jobs in our entire world. I thank you - even without having kids myself, yet - for everything you do. It is terribly sad how unrecognized you are.

It is unfortunate that parents do not understand this. That they think it is your job, and yours alone, to teach their children. They find ways to place blame for the "bad" things they have created...for spoiling, or on the other end, ingoring their kids, and then expecting you to fix it.

I hope that things do get better for you. I hope that you continue teaching. YOUR students are lucky.

Melissa said...

AMEN sister!

Anonymous said...

Try being her husband who sees this on a daily basis. I tell her everyday that a masters degree is a masters degree and other companies will pay her high dollar for this and her work ethic.

The day we can tie direct profit and market share figures to public education, is the day when schools become our multimillion $ stadiums and out teachers over paid premadonnas.