Tuesday, January 07, 2014

A Teacher's Lament

Once, near the start of my teaching career, one of the crew I employed to help erect the shell of my home, made a snarky "It must be nice" remark to my sweaty face (I was working along side the crew) about teachers and time-off. The look of surprise on his face when I lost my temper and tuned on him was almost worth the sleep-deprived rage I felt for this idiot who was mouthing off at me after one of my hundred hour weeks and second month of laboring on my house for hours each day when I wasn't teaching or grading papers was almost worth losing my cool over. I am not the only one who gets irked evidently.

‘I would love to teach but…’:
...Despite this gilt of success, I was constantly prodded both inside the classroom and out by condescending remarks like, “It must be nice to have all that time off.” Time off? Did they mean the five or less hours of sleep I got each night between bouts of grading and planning? Did they mean the hours I spent checking my hundreds of e-mails, having to justify myself to parents, bosses, and random members of the community at large? Did they mean the time I missed with my family because I had to get all 150 of these essays graded and the data entered into a meaningless table to be analyzed for further instruction and evidence of my own worth? Did they mean the nine months of 80-hour work weeks, 40 of which were unpaid overtime weekly, only to be forced into a two-month, unpaid furlough during which I’m demeaned by the cashier at Staples for “all that time off?”...

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