Monday, November 02, 2009

Stressed Out?

Maybe you're in the wrong line of work. CNN states that high school teachers have one of the most stressful and poorly paid jobs anywhere. That's certainly not encouraging. It makes you think you aren't half as smart as you thought you were.

Personally, I don't see it that way. Of course the job is stressful. There are constant demands from administration, both on-site and from the anti-union, anti-labor psychos at Tweed. And dealing with the demands of 170 teenagers on a daily basis can be harrowing. But those of us who've toughed out the first few years have found ways--we've learned from experience.

Don't believe the teacher-bashers who say we don't get better after 3 years. They just don't want to pay you. They want disposable McTeachers who will never mature enough to stand up for themselves or the kids they teach. It's fairly easy for them to sit around in air-conditioned offices and criticize us. In fact, that's because they themselves have a very low-stress occupation. They can't do what we do.

In fact, it's fairly easy for me to sit behind this laptop and condemn them. I could do a much more thorough job of it if I weren't hampered with having to show up to work each day and help kids. Now I don't mind doing that, and with 25 years, I'm confident I'm the best teacher I've ever been. I've dealt with hundreds of situations and I've learned from results, both good and bad.

In both lessons and social situations, I've got a wealth of experience to draw from. It's sad that our titular leaders would just as soon toss me into the Absent Teacher Reserve as look at me, and that their protégés, like Michelle Rhee, will disregard convention and break laws just to get rid of teachers like me.

Make no mistake that given his druthers, Chancellor Klein would do exactly the same thing. We always hope that age brings wisdom. It's pathetic that our top-dog educational leaders would not only ignore that, but do everything they can to deprive our children of it--just to save a few bucks.

And that's what stresses me out.
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