Thursday, March 3, 2011

Teachers Are Human

We received the schedule of our ten minute interviews today. I must be lucky because I get to be the very first person interviewed. I'm not sure how I feel about that. On the plus side, I'll be over and done with before 8AM on Monday. On the downside, I'm first! What if I don't make a good enough impression for them to remember how much they love me? What if I do it wrong and then everyone else comes in and does it right? I just have to make sure I'm not sick on Monday. I've got a tickle in my throat that needs to go away. Of course, I'd probably just go in while not feeling well. It wouldn't be the first time.

I broke the news to my students today. Why? I had to remind them that teachers are humans, not robots. See, some teachers actually make students work. Shocking, I know. Some students see work as a punishment. When work is a punishment, teachers who give work are bad teachers. I started explaining when the interviews would be and one of the students said he was going to throw a party if one particular teacher was let go. I stopped what I was saying, looked him in the eye and told him that disappointment was too weak a word to describe my current emotions.

After that, I went over the same thing with all of my classes. Teachers are people. They have feelings. They have emotions. They deserve dignity, even for the insignificant crime of assigning work in school. I could tell that my words were sinking in because the same student apologized to me at the end of class.

I told my kids I don't care what teacher they hate. I don't care what teacher "gave" them a D. I don't care what teacher assigned too much homework. They are to be on their best behavior. They are not to celebrate when the list of overstaffed teachers is released. And they better not say a word to any of the teachers who have to be overstaffed.

In the game of teachers versus students, sometimes we have to play on the same team. Sometimes we need to come together as a group of people rather than an authority and the "oppressed". Sometimes we need to be human beings to one another.

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