Thursday, May 4, 2017

R. E. S. P. E. C. T.

Oh, friends.  The end of the year is near, and we're all feeling the siren call of summer.  I've seen so many vents/worries/comments lately about an overall feeling of no respect for what we do.  Questions about "is it my age?" "Is this just the way it is?"  I'm not even going to pretend to have the answers, but I've been doing this for a while, in a couple of districts, in four or five (or more???) buildings and I sometimes feel the burn of does-anyone-value-what-I'm-doing-here along with [some of] the rest of you.  Especially when the higher-ups decide that art/music/PE will be starting at a early school and ending a late school and adults ask "Leaving so soon?" when you're rushing out of the building to get to the second (late) building.  I hear you.  I feel you.
But let's take a step back for a minute and realize that ALL teachers and ALL administrators that I know are BUSY, and it's hard to see the forest for the trees when we're all running as fast as we can.  You know what's helped me?  Conversation.  Dialogue. Calmly asking "why is this so?"  "Has anyone thought this through?" And then really listening to the reply.  
[Full disclosure, this next one is hard for me, and I usually need to think on it for a day or two before I can really do it.] Calmly, respectfully laying out the [very real] concerns about the issue (scheduling, supplies/lack of supplies, admin support, things like that) and then giving the other party/person time to think it over (overlook the initial reaction if they're not calm at the time). And take some (sometimes very small) comfort in the knowledge that you tried.  You did something other than just complain and lose sleep over it.
Here's the reality: you need a supportive spouse/parent/friend that you can cry to.  I mean really cry--tears streaming down your face at 11 pm over the disaster you know awaits you the next day.  You have to have that person.  I don't know how you'd survive if you didn't.  But they can't fix it for you.  You have to calmly bring it to someone's attention.  Someone who can [maybe] do something, or maybe just bring it up to the higher-ups. Don't expect someone else to realize your reality (they won't).  Really ask yourself "is this good for students?" and if it's not, something needs to change.
I agree that we're all "doing this for students" but you're important too.  You add value to your building.  Just by being you.
If you don't have your personal cheerleader/supportive spouse/friend, go find them.  Or email me.  I'm all about 'cha.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Pin It