On occasion I make mention of the fact that I'm a teacher/educator by day. If you missed it, maybe you caught it under "About Me." At work I happened to have a free moment around my lunchtime and decided to check out an education list serve. A parent posed a question about how to handle a verbally abusive teacher. The story she detailed sounded like her daughter had not followed one of the classroom rules that, since this post was left yesterday, that probably has been in effect since the beginning of the school year. The teacher apparently was sarcastic in her method of questioning the child's erroneous decision. The mother, NOT the child--mommy said as much--found the teacher's handling to be sarcastic and now feels like her daughter is being abused. Let me also add that the mother stated she's an immigrant. EVERY response to this mother that followed bashed this teacher and called for her to be dealt with by her principal, and if not a satisfactory response, demand a change in teachers or go to the superintendent.
This particular occurrence makes me cringe. Not because I'm concerned about this teacher's future employment status, but because this rant only served to further prove how quickly we are to tar and feather people without investigation. NONE of these other mothers have a child in this class, were present for what happen, or even have a clear idea of what was said to the child, because the original mom's posting was kind of vague. This idea that teachers should be or are perfect is going to leave a lot of people disgruntled when they run head first into reality. Let me break this down for you:
1. Funny thing, teachers are people too. I know it's hard to believe that beings without wings are responsible for your children for 6-8 hours a day, but those same kids were trusted to the rest of you simply humans, so...go figure.
2. A lot of these lowly humans treat your children with more respect than some of them receive at home, despite what you think you're doing. [& if YOU are not the person who would qualify as an asshole parent, I'm NOT talking about you.] We don't know any better than you. Unfortunately raising children and teaching them can be baptism by fire for everyone involved.
3. Parents get to be involved specifically with their 1 to however many children that they CHOOSE to have. Outside of the Duggars, most people don't have a classroom full of children with different personalities and backgrounds or parental
4. When you ride public trans there are rules of engagement. When you go to a restaurant there are rules of engagement. When you go to school there ARE rules of engagement. It helps keep the peace and order so all those children crammed into the same space can actually take something away each day, despite their different personalities, backgrounds, and parental
5. There are no perfect professionals. Sorry. I just haven't met them, in ANY venue. We all make mistakes, and with a little support and nurturing we can all be better professionals. I would love to be able to spy on the people who make complaints and see if their weaknesses are the same as those they've complained about. I personally don't call folks to task on things unless what they did was just so egregious that it absolutely MUST be pointed out in order to save the next wo/man from such an experience. Other than that, I just make quiet choices not to deal with people or support their businesses.
6. I haven't met a person yet who likes EVERYBODY they've ever met. Hell, I know parents who can't stand their child/ren TODAY, and who treat them that way. Children are people too, and there are GOING TO BE children that people don't like. Like a colleague once said, "I don't get paid to like children, I get paid to teach them." Sounds harsh but... Still, any teacher worth her salt can find a way to put an arm around that annoying or nasty kid too or at least smile in that child's direction often enough to "fake it til you make it." It's about respect. You can have respect for a person if you don't like them, and all a teacher is responsible for doing is respecting children. We do NOT sign contractual agreements to like them too. That's not even realistic.
One thing I think that's truly being overlooked is this woman's immigrant status, which could account for her inability to understand sarcasm as a nuance that is widespread amongst
Bottom line is that this is really a communication issue. If we all worked a little harder at more sensitive communication, sayeth the pot to the kettle, we'd find things run a little more smoothly. Since we all pretty much live selfishly, never considering the other side or try to walk in the other person's shoes, I doubt it'll happen. I'm pretty sure I've just opened up a can of worms... So, carry on, business as usual. Going to get my protective gear and get ready to field these blows.
Watch me move.