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  #1  
Old 04-25-2010, 12:14 AM
hac711 hac711 is offline
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md
My non-teacher friends and family don't understand my life

Hello!
Maybe some weathered teachers can help me with my problem. I have been teaching for quite awhile now (5+ years) and I recently posted something on facebook (don't worry, I am not friends with any students, parents, co-workers, etc...and all my information is blocked plus I do not post a pic of myself) intended for my other teacher friends to comment. I basically said that if parents want their child's school year to be successful then they should stop nitpicking the teacher (Jon wants to sit by Jack; Mary likes to be you helper every day) and leave the teacher alone because otherwise the teacher starts to resent the child. Now, I work in a private school where parents think that because they spend money to send their child there, that they can tell the teacher to do something and that they should do it (don't give so much homework, give more homework, they should have nap time...5th grade really??) Those are some of the things I have to contend to everyday. After one particular parent told the SECRETARY I was unprofessional because I told him NOT TO CALL MY HOUSE AT 11:30 AT NIGHT (I was very nice about it). He said the matter was so urgent he needed to speak to me right away (he thought his precious child should be in the highest reading group...emergency???) Anyways, my non-teacher friends and family totally berated me and called me insensitive and that I am callous and if I do do that then I am being a...a not nice word. Has anybody else been totally misunderstood? I feel our profession is unique and that unless you are a teacher, you do not know what we go through. Also, am I wrong to feel this way?? Am I in the wrong profession?? I LOVE teaching, and I am really good at it, but if I am wrong, then please let me know what I should do (maybe just not talk to people about work who aren't in my field?).
Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 04-25-2010, 12:19 AM
TeacherShelly TeacherShelly is offline
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2nd & 3rd Grade Multiage
When I read what you posted, my big reaction was to the part about resenting the child. I would hate to think that if I asked my daughter's teacher for something, she might take it out on my daughter. It may be a natural response, but you have to try to separate your feelings for the parent from your responsibility to the child. Remember, you work for the kid, not the parent, and yes, even if it's a private school.
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  #3  
Old 04-25-2010, 12:34 AM
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shouldbeasleep shouldbeasleep is offline
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intermediate grades
It always amazes me that "friends and family members" can sometimes feel it is okay to berate someone simply because they are friend or family.

On the other hand, I sometimes think Facebook causes more misunderstandings than anything else I know. If you put your thoughts on there, expect people to think it's fine to discuss their interpretations.

You know you aren't really going to resent the child because the parent is an idiot.

And it does get easier to answer parents politely and hold onto your beliefs after a few years of practice. Sounds like you're getting a lot of practice in.
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Old 04-25-2010, 12:36 AM
hac711 hac711 is offline
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md
Sorry if I wasn't clear! I wasn't talking about one or two incidences that a parent wanted to discuss, I was talking about 2-4 weekly calls for months; with things like Jack wants to sit by the window; now Jack says the sun is too bright and wants to sit in the back,; Jack can't hear you in the back move him to the front, Jack says you came to school with a run in your stocking...
Sorry, maybe that was the problem when I said something on facebook. I just assumed people would realize that as a teacher I work with parents to reach a goal for their child and if there is a viable need or question, I would of course look into it. I was talking about the idiotic nit-picking.
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  #5  
Old 04-25-2010, 12:39 AM
hac711 hac711 is offline
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Thank-you Shouldbeasleep...for understanding...
Sometimes having even a total stranger understand, makes it all right...
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  #6  
Old 04-25-2010, 04:45 AM
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Aliceacc Aliceacc is offline
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I agree Shelly.

I would never make the connection between an annoying parent and resentment towards a child. And to put that resentment in writing, even just as a vent, impies that it's true to others who don't understand classroom life.

They'll simply never understand. Vent to people at work, not on facebook.
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  #7  
Old 04-25-2010, 06:26 AM
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KinderCowgirl KinderCowgirl is offline
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I get that a lot too. I'll post what a long day I had that I just want to go to sleep and the response is -how can you be tired when all you did was play with kids all day! Grrrr.

Anyway, most people in "regular" jobs don't have 20+ people who do think they are your boss (parents) and have to answer to them in addition to their real bosses. I think you're right, if you have never been a teacher it's really hard for people to understand the added stress above and beyond the work day we are paid for.
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  #8  
Old 04-25-2010, 06:43 AM
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TamiJ TamiJ is offline
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From what you have told us, I don't see how others can think you're callous. I work in a private school too, so I completely understand how some parents try to run your room for you. I think it's ok for you to not want calls at 11:30pm. Most people, I think, are curteous enough to not call anyone that late, so hopefully you are not dealing with that on a daily basis.

Most people do not understand what it is like to be a teacher and to live a teacher's life. We are very lucky and blessed. In the future, perhaps you can talk to other teachers about some of these issues. They would likely be able to provide real suggestions and give good advice knowing all too well where you are coming from.
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  #9  
Old 04-25-2010, 06:46 AM
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TamiJ TamiJ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toak View Post
Not yet in that situation but I know many people who were psychology majors who say their major was really hard, and elementary education is just fun and games. Which I find hillarious because at my school, elementary education majors had to take all but two of the classes required for a psychology degree. PLUS they had to do an extra, in-depth performance assessment in each psychology class, that psychology majors were exempt from
Wow. That's intense. I had to take one or two psychology courses, but that was it. As far as people who say that, they can say what they will, but I believe teaching is one of the toughest jobs out there.
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  #10  
Old 04-25-2010, 06:49 AM
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swansong1 swansong1 is offline
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Back in the saddle again!
I don't think you posted with the intent of having people criticize your actions, so I won't go there. I agree that a teacher should not be "on" 24/7. Set a reasonable time...say...7:30. Tell your parents that you do not take phone calls after that time because it is family time for you. Tell them they can send in a note the next day. I also use caller ID to screen calls, without saying anything about that to the parents. If they complain that you didn't answer their "emergency" call, just tell them you weren't available to answer your phone. You may want to meet with the parents at the beginning of next school year and explain your policies.
How does administration expect you to function? Do they think you should be available 24/7? If that is the case, you may have to do something different.
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