After seeing some of the responses from non-teachers on my recent DMN blog post -- where the overriding argument seems to be that if you don't like something, your two options are 1) suck it up and shut up or 2) QUIT -- I got an idea for a new post.
Today is the last day before classes start, so I've made a list of complaints that I've had or may have this year. You may have had these same complaints at one time, or you may feel like making them this year, but know this. According to some people, you teachers knew what you were getting yourselves into when you joined the profession, so there's no reason to complain about anything, you just need to do whatever is asked of you, and you always have the option of quitting at year's end.
1) The A/C in my classroom doesn't seem to be working, and/or it's working TOO well. --
We haven't been able to control the thermostats in our classrooms for about 6 years now, so we never really know what the climate is going to be like when we enter. Some days it's an arctic chill, some days it's mild, and some days it's like being on the surface of the sun. But there's no use complaining, right? I knew full well when I entered my teaching certification courses that my body would need to naturally and spontaneously adapt on a daily basis to changing temperatures and humidity levels!
2) I don't have updated technology in my classroom. --
That's ok, kids have been learning with chalk and the backs of shovels since before Abraham Lincoln's day! If it was good enough for Honest Abe, it's good enough for me! I'm sure there's some corporate worker out there who is still dealing with primitive resources in his job, so his case should be applied to all teachers who are teaching updated curricula with outdated tools!
3) Some parents won't return my calls or come to discuss their child --
There always seems to be a few folks who think that what happens at school should stay at school, and they don't want to be "bothered" by hearing about what their kid is doing, good OR bad. But I am clearly a fool for forgetting that I went to college to learn how to work with KIDS! Not ADULTS!! Why on earth would I think I had the right to talk to adults as a teacher?? If I want to work with adults, I most definitely should quit and get a different job.
4) There is a "No recess" policy in action at my school --
It sure would be nice if the kids had ten minutes or so to blow off steam and run to their hearts' content. But I should have realized going in to my job choice that "recess" is one of those abstract, unquantifiable things that was bound to go the way of the dodo, along with "homework," "respect," and "consequences."
5) I need to see the doctor, but in order to do so, I have to either find someone who will see me after 5:00 or take an entire day off for the appointment. --
As my friends have said countless times, teachers are EXPECTED to contract every sickness and disease known to man, plus a few others -- EACH YEAR! They are fond of telling me that I also am expected to fight through the pain, the snot, the oozing, and the fever. Doctors, Schmoctors!
I'm sure there are plenty of others, but I for one will be trying my darndest to remember NOT to complain about anything this year. I'll just put my head down, break my back, and do every little, ridiculous, unnecessary thing that is asked of me. You betcha.