When you become a teacher you know that you are going to have to deal with the misconceptions that Teachers aren’t human beings. That we are some sort of emotionless robot. Well, that’s the way that the children see us. You know that you are going to have to deal with the misguided view that we get ‘all of those holidays and you don’t deserve them.’ You know that you are going to have to deal with the name calling by the children when you’ve given them a bad report or you’ve told them off. You also know you are going to have to deal with the parents. Parents who talk to you like rubbish even though you are human.
This week, I’ve had to deal with all of that as well as two parents’ evenings and my first lesson observation of the year. Please let me highlight that I am seeing the good in this week. I did receive a ‘good’ in my lesson observation with ‘outstanding’ for marking! I also got my first half a stone award at Slimming World.
But this week has taken a toll. I’m exhausted; physically, mentally and emotionally.
This week I had a parent be exceptionally rude to me at parents’ evening because I mentioned that her child was not performing to his ability. That he lacked motivation. I just had to take it. In that instance, I became nothing more than mud on the bottom of her shoe. I became less than a human.
In doctors, hospitals, banks, anywhere where they offer a public service there’s always a sign that reads ‘If you do not respect our staff, you will be evicted from the premises and the service will be refused.’ Teachers do not have this kind of protection. If a parent speaks to us like rubbish or abuses us, we have to take it. I think it is so wrong.
On top of this, I had two students tell me that another student had said ‘At least you’re not as fat as Mrs S. She’s a fat b…..’ I won’t repeat the word, but you get the picture. As a teacher, I understand that I shouldn’t let this bother me but in my tired, emotional and stressed state and as a human being, how could I not let this bother me? When I got home, I cried. Rationally, I didn’t care. But again let me reiterate, I am exhausted. So in my oversensitive and emotional state, it hurt.
I’ve always had an issue about my weight. I joined Slimming World to get my weight under control. In that moment, I wanted to scream that I am trying so hard to lose the weight. At the same time, I wanted to go home and eat my body weight in chocolate but I didn’t.
When did it become okay for other people to say such horrible and cruel things to another human being? I was always taught that if I had nothing nice to say that I should keep my mouth shut and not say anything at all.
I teach my students that kindness doesn’t cost anything and can be in fact the most rewarding thing. I teach them that being nasty to another person does not make you big or clever, it makes you a coward. I teach them that everything they say has a consequence and all of the words they say can affect people. It can make people feel deeply wounded for years to come or kind words can lift their spirits and make them soar. As a teacher, it is my responsibility to teach this and address this attitude of ‘It was only a joke.’ If it hurts somebody else then no, it is not a joke.
Equally, I had to teach my year 10 class that hitting somebody back was not okay. Violence is never okay. ‘Well I was taught that if somebody hits you first, you hit them back.’ That still does not make violence okay.
I am just holding on to the four positives this week.
- It is half term on Friday.
- I received a ‘good with outstanding for marking’ in my observation.
- It is date-night tomorrow.
- I got my first half a stone award at Slimming World and I am going to be one of the social term.
Here’s to hoping for a better week next week.
Kindness costs nothing.
Mrs S x