My husband has been an educator for almost 30 years, and as such, I have heard all sorts of wonderful tales from him about his students. He truly enjoys his work and the people that he teaches year after year. I have also been a witness to the parents who love him as an educator. When we got married five years ago, a group of them encircled me and asked if I was going to make him retire because he was the best teacher their child ever had.
I too am an educator, and I’ve spent many years working with educators and families in school systems. So what I am about to say should come as no surprise to anyone who has spent any appreciable amount of time in schools.
If we are to be honest with ourselves, we all know that ONE parent in every school that will fight tooth and nail with educators because they think their child could never be the disruptive or disrespectful one. This is the same parent who wants their child to have an “A,” when they really earned a “D,” and will think nothing of wasting everyone’s time coming into the school complaining bitterly about that which is not worth defending.
We are also quite aware that educators are often treated like the lowest rung on the ladder of work life, despite being the ones really educating the world’s future leaders in the world.
Yet, year after year they take it on the chin, so to speak, as they are maligned and told that they don’t know what they’re doing, or that they are mediocre, or whatever else you can think of that could come out of the mouths of irate parents towards them.
In these last 14 days, I believe every single teacher has finally gotten their revenge. Every parent now has to be home with their child, quarantined, due to a pandemic that no one saw coming — COVID-19, a strain of the coronavirus that has left hundreds of thousands sick, and thousands dead. In an effort to stave it’s spread, schools across the country took drastic action and closed.
During the first few days of school closures, we could see on social media that parents were doing their best to manage. We could also see that they were concerned about having to “teach” their children online and make sure that they got up to do their work, day in and day out.
By day five of the quarantine, we could see pandemonium rising! Parents were whining, frustrated, upset with their darling little children that they always thought could do no wrong, and the list goes on!
I have to wonder if teachers watching this unfold are chuckling their faces off with sweet revenge.
It has gotten to the place where parents are openly acknowledging that teachers are angels who should be paid much better, and when they get their children back to school, they will be sure to thank said teachers for all that they have done to make sure that their darlings learn 6 to 7 hours per day, because it is not as easy as they thought it would’ve been.
I find it amusing that there are those who think they can do a better job than the people that are actually doing it. It takes several years to get a college degree to be a teacher, and then have to take a serious exam called the Praxis.
Without passing that test, they are not able to teach core subjects, and in addition to that, they must continue to take continuing educational courses as they teach throughout the years that are mandatory for them. Some educators teach while obtaining several masters degrees, and then they get the ultimate degree, the PhD.
Many go on to be managers in schools, such as principals and superintendents, but no matter where they land in the school system, this is incredibly hard and intuitive work on many levels.
It is now time that parents take a long hard look at the people that are teaching their children day in and day out, and thank them for what they do so consistently, and be mindful of judging them.
We still have no idea how much longer this physical distancing will last, but this I do know — there are parents already on the edge and willing to give away their children back to school for all that it’s worth! They are learning patience, temperance, forgiveness, and when to walk away.
They have also begun to realize, those “little darlings” of theirs, aren’t always so sweet and wonderful after all.
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