Quasi-Daily Writing: February 22, 2011

I feel like I am at a standstill. Everyone’s up in arms about the government giving teachers the shaft, getting rid of bargaining rights, saying that only 50% of teachers will soon need to be officially licensed, etc. I’m upset, definitely, enraged even. But I do not know what can be done to stop it. I look at everything that’s being tried: letters, protests, walk-outs, but it feels like throwing paper at a freight train. It just rips right through it and keeps on coming, crushing it beneath its wheels.

What the hell did we do to make people think so badly of us? When did we become the end-all be-all for how someone else’s child turns out and how their mind works? When did I become totally responsible for children that I neither conceived nor birthed? When did all the blame come to be laid at our feet? I, for one, am doing my best to make the information that I am required to teach accessible and understandable to students, even if I cannot make it the most fun all the time. And not only that but I am also answering the questions about ethics, right and wrong, mortality, mentality, growing up, that you should be answering. And here I am being nitpicked to death, told what I must and must not teach and when. It makes my soul hurt when I think of what freedom I had only three years ago, doing Steampunk literature with my 8th graders as they studied the Industrial Revolution in Social Studies. *sigh* I should have appreciated it when I had it, huh?

Do I want to stay on with this? Do I still want to teach? For Ben, teaching is the thing. He is the teacher who just happens to specialize in German and Spanish. For me, it’s the subject matter. I am the English major who just happens to teach. I’m not entirely sure if I want to stay with teaching. I am getting ready to take my library/media specialist praxis soon. I think I could be happy in a library all day long, though I know that comes with responsibilities and duties of its own. But still…

I don’t know, we’ll see. But teaching is no longer a respected profession, at least not by most. We are scapegoats. Sure, some people just shouldn’t be teaching. But it’s hard to develop a prize-winning horse when the animal would rather drown than drink. That’s how I feel some days, a lot of days. Though I do have those golden-ticket days (or even just periods) at times. Still…I don’t know.


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